The Monaco Grand Prix ended in heartbreak for Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc as he was forced to retire after clipping the wall during an overtake attempt on Nico Hülkenberg.
Monaco was full of hope for their young prospect and the stands were seas of red in support of the Scuderia Ferrari racer. However, he had a disappointing weekend on his home circuit after a disastrous tactical faux pas during qualifying saw Leclerc fail to make it out of Q1 on Saturday.
As a result, he started Sunday’s race in fifteenth and with a mountain to climb if he was to score points in his home race.
“Our performance was there but unfortunately the result wasn’t,” said Leclerc. “I gave it my all today, knowing that I had to do something different and take a lot of risks to fight my way forward after starting in fifteenth position.”
Leclerc set out his stall immediately in the race and began taking risks early on. He made a stunning move to pass McLaren F1 Team rookie Lando Norris in the hairpin on lap two before he nipped past Haas F1 Team racer Romain Grosjean with a lunge on the Frenchman as they entered Rascasse on lap seven.
However, his eagerness to weave through the pack saw him make a reckless move on Renault F1 Team racer Hülkenberg on the ninth lap, which saw him clip the track wall as he attempted to replicate the move at Rascasse he had just put on Grosjean.
The incident left Leclerc sporting a puncture on his right rear tyre and, after trying to get back to the pit lane as fast as possible, he ended up causing more damage to the car floor. His team could do little else than retire his car on the eighteenth lap and Leclerc was understandably frustrated after a bad weekend behind the wheel of his Ferrari.
“I enjoyed the beginning of the race and it was going quite well,” Leclerc added. “While overtaking Nico on lap 9, I clipped the rear on the wall and our cars touched which damaged my rear tyre and the floor.
“We tried to continue racing on a new set of tyres but we were just lacking too much downforce after the incident and had to retire.”
His first season with Ferrari has so far impressed motorsport fans with his weekend in Monaco a small blot on what’s so far been a great season for Leclerc. He’s currently fifth in the driver’s championships and is looking to make ground on his rivals in Canada the next time out.
“A difficult weekend overall, but I am already fully focused on the next race in Canada and will do my best to bounce back there,” the twenty-one-year-old said.