Only a few Formula 1 drivers are granted a home race in their own city. If you look at Charles Leclerc's career so far, you could assume that he would almost rather forego this honor. So far he hasn't had any luck in a racing car in Monaco.
Home is the nicest place, they say. Charles Leclerc can only sign that to a limited extent. The Ferrari driver was born in Monegasse, as a child he literally clung to his parents' balcony railings on Formula 1 weekends and listened to the sound of the eight and ten-cylinder engines - young Charles had found his calling. But at the wheel of a racing car, the 24-year-old has so far lacked any luck in his streets.
In five home races in Formula 1 and Formula 2, Leclerc never reached the finish line, last year he got stuck on the grid due to a defect on the pole. And then not even two weeks ago: At the Grand Prix Historique he did a show lap in a Ferrari of the legendary Niki Lauda, the rear broke out, the outrageously expensive 312B3 from 1974 hit the guardrail - which, among other things, severely damaged rear wing.
"When you think you've already had all the bad luck in the world in Monaco - and then lose the brakes in Rascasse with one of Ferrari's most iconic Formula 1 cars," Leclerc humorously commented on his faux pas on Twitter, which of course became a viral hit .
In the race on Sunday (3 p.m. / Sky and in the ntv.de live ticker) things must go much better for him. The engine failure out of nowhere a few days ago in Barcelona not only cost Leclerc the seemingly certain third win of the season, he also lost his once comfortable world championship lead to defending champion Max Verstappen.
"This season, the team that has done everything perfectly has always won," said Leclerc, looking at his home race: "We will do everything to be this team." The Scuderia's potential this year is "great".
However, the Barcelona engine can no longer be used for Leclerc. Only three Power Units per season should be used without penalty, after which there are shifts back in the starting line-up. In the title fight, the Ferrari hopeful seems to be handicapped in the long run compared to Red Bull driver Verstappen, who is six points ahead of him and is still using the first drive of the year.
For Leclerc it was the first technical failure of the season. Before that, he had scored points in every race and was on the podium four times. And in Monaco? He's not talking about the first home win since Louis Chiron in 1931, but prefers to hold back with big declarations of war. "I'm happy and I hope it will be a good race," said Leclerc. Its history is humbling.