Charles Leclerc, Oscar Piastri, Monaco, 2024

Leclerc finally wins Monaco Grand Prix in processional race

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc claimed a home race victory by controlling the Monaco Grand Prix in a race dominated by tyre management.

The Ferrari driver led every lap of the race to become the first Monegasque driver to win the famous race since 1931 and take his first victory in almost two years.

Oscar Piastri finished second, with Carlos Sainz Jnr third in the second Ferrari to complete the podium. Max Verstappen finished in sixth.

The start of the race was marred by a frightening accident on the run out of Sainte Devote when Kevin Magnussen clipped Sergio Perez, sending the Red Bull spinning into the barrier and causing heavy damage to both cars, Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas and the barriers. There was a lengthy delay while the carnage was cleared, but the stewards decided that the incident did not require investigation.

Sainz had battled with Oscar Piastri for second place at the first corner and the pair clashed out of Sainte Devote. Sainz suffered a puncture and ran wide at Casino Square, falling to the back of the field, but managed to continue before the red flag. Piastri also claimed to have suffered floor damage in the clash. Later in the lap, the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly collided at Portier, which put the former out of the race.

Despite being down in 16th, Sainz was allowed to restart from his original third place at the restart. The top four drivers all switched under the red flag from medium tyres to hards and all held their positions at the standing restart, with Leclerc leading from Piastri, Sainz and Lando Norris in fourth.

The four leaders pulled away from George Russell in fifth, who was working on saving his medium tyres. After 50 laps of racing, sixth-placed Verstappen and seventh-placed Lewis Hamilton pitted for hard tyres after restarting on mediums, retaining their positions.

Out front, Leclerc managed his tyres throughout the race expertly, never allowing the McLaren driver an opportunity to challenge him. He crossed the line to win by seven seconds from Piastri in second, with Sainz completing the podium half a second behind, as Norris took fourth.

After Russell came under pressure from Verstappen on his newer hard tyres in the closing laps, the Mercedes driver successfully held off the world champion to claim fifth, while Hamilton finished behind in sixth. Yuki Tsunoda was eighth, with Alexander Albon taking Williams’ first points of the season in ninth and Gasly tenth.

The result sees Verstappen’s championship lead reduced to 31 points with Leclerc consolidating second place with victory. Norris and Sainz have both moved up one place each to third and fourth, respectively.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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56 comments on “Leclerc finally wins Monaco Grand Prix in processional race”

  1. I’m happy Leclerc finally got his maiden Monaco GP victory, but what a move by both Magnussen & Ocon.
    Magnussen has done many bad things, but this one is definitely the worst.
    He seriously should’ve backed off & especially accepted full responsibility in the interview pen instead of claiming Perez should’ve given him more space despite having zero obligation for that, given how much ahead he was.
    If he doesn’t receive at least two penalty points for causing such a dangerous collision, I don’t know what will, & I’d also be surprised if he gets another deal anymore (or why not even sack him with immediate effect), given how much damage he cost the team in the process.
    Ocon’s move was equally pointless as he didn’t have any chance of a successful move at Portier in the first place.
    I wonder how this move will affect his & Gasly’s working relationship moving on.
    FIA should also stop returning drivers to their original starting positions for post-suspension restarts.

    1. Stephen Bishop
      26th May 2024, 17:09

      He was able to go to his original place because Zhou had not passed the first sector line in last place so tyhe race is counted as starting from the beginning.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        26th May 2024, 17:58

        Why we can’t go back to the old system (Red flag within the first two laps, restart is a fresh race at the original distance, with the clock reset from zero) is beyond me

        1. They will need to re fuel the cars. Which means the cars need to go into the garage and get “serviced” . This complicates the red flag rules since the cars wont stay out on the grid.

          1. I think the bigger reason is the TV companies want races to finish inside the allocated time slot.

  2. These cars are way to big for Monaco, unfortunately! If this was early-mid 00’s…oh boy it would be a different story, overtakes down to the first corner and tunnel exit were very common back then!

    1. Actually, 2003 Monaco had ZERO overtakes.

      The racing got better in 2009-2016, in the skinny wings (low downforce) era. The 2013 race was a belter.

      1. Michael went from 20fh to 5th in 2006. Alonso did the same when he drove for Ferrari. These cars are just exceptionally large.

        1. Nick T., you can actually find the overtaking statistics for Monaco for the past 40 years, and the figures have always been bad.

          The 1990’s, for example, saw a lot of races where the number of passes was in single figures – 1998 seeing just 2, for example, despite the cars then being significantly narrower than they are now. The 1980’s saw quite a few races with fairly few passes taking place as well – as for the fantasy envisaged by FanatikosF1, on the contrary, passing races were also quite low in the early to mid 2000’s as well.

          In fact, although you claim that the 2010 Monaco GP is an example of apparently good overtaking, Alonso actually passed relatively few drivers on track. There are a total of six successful recorded passes in that race, and the only cars that Alonso passed on track were those from Caterham, Marussia and HRT – i.e. the new teams that were at a significant performance disadvantage – and three quarters of the net gain in position that Alonso made in that race came from a combination of pit strategy and drivers retiring from positions in front of him.

          Similarly, whilst Schumacher might have gone from 20th to 5th, he actually didn’t overtake as many drivers on track as you seem to think he did – again, the majority of his gains in position actually came from a combination of pit strategy and retirements of drivers ahead of him.

          1. There was also coulthard, who went from last to 5th, I think, in 2001, after his car stalled in the original start.

          2. some racing fan
            27th May 2024, 1:06

            One particular race that stands out was 1985, where Alboreto did all the passing. He went wide at St Devote when he slipped on some oil that had dropped off Patrese’s Alfa when he crashed with Piquet. Prost passed him, and the. Alboreto caught and passed Prost, got a puncture and went in again, came out in 4th, passed de Cesaris for 3rd and then de Angelis for 2nd, but Prost was too far ahead.

  3. Now lets all do ourselves a favour and switch on over to Indy :) We might actually see a race!

    1. If they could just find a way to make overtaking possible at Monaco it would be such an incredible event from the start of the weekend to the very end.

    2. …whenever it dries up.
      But not running’s better than going out on any kind of Pirelli wets.

      1. A series that simply doesn’t drive in the wet is a no go for me!

        1. greasemonkey
          26th May 2024, 20:49

          IndyCar drives in the wet on the same kind of tracks F1 does.

          They just ALSO race ovals, on which driving on the wet would be ridiculous.

        2. some racing fan
          27th May 2024, 1:11

          No series runs races on ovals in the wet. Not IndyCar, NASCAR- not one of them. Why? Because it’s pointlessly dangerous. Unlike a road course, the spray generated is huge and consistent. However, IndyCar and NASCAR do race in the wet on road courses.

    3. Emphasis on the word “might”

      Reply moderated
    4. Well this aged well

      1. I went to sleep, very glad I didn’t stay up for it :D Did not expect to be able to watch it live in the morning!

  4. Perez’ uselessness might just cost Red Bull the WCC in the end.
    Ferrari are just 24 points behind them, and they tend to be more consistent with maximizing points-scoring opportunities.
    If Perez is about to fall off the pace for half the season again (like last year after Monaco), Ferrari will overhaul Red Bull’s points advantage in the next few races, even if Verstappen wins most of the races.

    1. If perez continues being so bad, they could give it a shot by promoting tsunoda mid season, he should be able to score some more points, he already gets some with toro rosso!

  5. Changing tyres on a red flag should not be allowed at this track. The track itself doesn’t provide any chance of action and to make matters worse most of the grid was nursing tyres to go to the end from lap 2, so just strolling around for 78 laps.

    It can get much worse than that.

    Reply moderated
    1. You clearly mean “can’t get much worse than that”, have to agree, the only good thing of this race was the unusual grid, so at least we had other cars than the usual red bull mixing it out at the front.

  6. As an aside: the first lap TV coverage was terrible, it seemed to cut away from all the key action (leaders into the first corner and ‘hill’ climb) and took ages to find and show some poor footage of the crash at the back. For the amount spent on the sport, the TV director and crews have got to nail this stuff.

    1. That was out of “respect” apparently.

      Not respect for those who pay to view, though

      1. Piastri-Sainz and Ocon-Gasly was not “respect” surely. Just usual incompetence. It seems only in Italian races the TV director don’t makes a disaster.

    2. They managed to miss all of the few overtakes that happened also, they all had to be shown on replays, really terrible directing!

    3. Something that bugs me about all sports broadcasting these days, not just F1, is that when something interesting happens, it is mandatory to cut away and show the reaction of the girlfriend or some kid in the stands cheering or the team manager almost smiling or whatever. F1 is one of the worst because they always like to have “celebrities” on hand to add glitz.

  7. Beautiful place but most boring course in all of racing. You can’t pass. Cars line up and follow each other for 70+ laps. Yawn

    Reply moderated
    1. Yeah, it was very dull today. Formula 1 should seriously work on efforts to improve it, could be some special tyre compounds for the race or something, but the racing in Monaco is terrible.

      1. This track layout needs to go, there is no future for it.

        Reply moderated
        1. some racing fan
          27th May 2024, 1:13

          This.

          The current layout for Monaco just simply does not work for good racing- and hasn’t since at least 1973. They need to extend the straight before the tunnel and move the harbor chicane closer to Tabac.

      2. Maybe if they dumped the hybrid power and went back to smaller cars, and louder too. The track is too small for these SUVs they are driving now.

        I know, since all the current F1 drivers grew up in go carts, make it a go cart race!

        1. An Sionnach
          26th May 2024, 22:49

          The cars do need to be narrower here. Can they drive the cars from 1962? The best bit of this footage is the masterful mispronunciation of Jack Brabham.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCv-dIFGcd0

      3. schumi_alonso
        27th May 2024, 3:56

        I was actually twiddling my thumbs during the period where the top 4 could have pit and come out in front of Russell, and also if Russell had pit after Hamilton and Verstappen did, how would the top 4 have reacted? Would Ferrari have blinked or said to Mclaren, “After you mate”. So this part I did not find boring.

  8. Red flag destroyed the race, but guaranteed Leclerc’s win (no chance for a Ferrari blunder) so that’s ok with me.

    1. This is true, with ferrari it’s always a big risk and once you get under\overcut by piastri it’s over here.

    2. Race control helped as well not being very strict towards Sainz.. a Leclerc win was what the shareholders needed.

  9. It’s now very clear that the Mercedes/Hamilton relationship is well and truly over. The team had the perfect opportunity to work together and jump Verstappen today and they didn’t even try it. All Russell had to do was slow down and block Max for 2-3 seconds around a lap of Monaco. Considering they were lapping massively off pace anyway I don’t think this would have been difficult at all. It’s Very little risk for very little reward, but still I see RedBull, McLaren and Ferrari pulling that one off if they were in the same situation.

    1. Team orders with Russell, was never going to happen.

      I thought with Verstappen and Hamilton on new tires they might both have caught and overtaken Russell, but then the track dictated that never happened.

    2. If they were going to do that, they needed to close Hamilton up to Verstappen in the first place before pitting him. For whatever reason, the undercut wasn’t even attempted, by either mechanic or either driver.

      1. The weird bit was that Hamilton did get closer to Verstappen, some laps after Tsunoda left the pit stop window, within 1.5 seconds, but then he drifted back to 3+ seconds and then Mercedes pitted him. As he didn’t apparently push hard on the out lap too, there was no chance of him passing Max.
        At first I thought Hamilton had been slow on purpose, maybe hoping to see Verstappen put GR under pressure (because he was never going to finish ahead of Russell whatever). I still don’t get why he needed to be told to push.
        Could Mercedes have finessed the pass by getting George to slow down? Sure but at the risk of Hamilton coming out ahead of both. Then they’d have to contrive a way for GR to pit and come out ahead of Max without Lewis losing his place again. All sounds a lot of complication for not very much anyhow.
        The real missed opportunity was giving Hamilton the new wing and him having a chance of qualifying on the front row. But as Hamilton has advertised, that’s not happening for the rest of his future at Mercedes.

  10. You can’t have special rules for certain tracks. Honestly the easiest and best solution for Monaco is that it should just be dropped from the series.

    1. nope, they just need to make it a mandatory 2 stopper.

      1. See above, make it a go cart race. Back to the youth for all the drivers. Make it a fun weekend.

    2. Of course you can, and the Monaco GP — all 260 km of it — proves it.

  11. I’m pleased Leclerc finaly got this over and done with.

    It means this time next year there should be no team orders. ;0)

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed the podium ceremony – Leclerc’s win certainly meant a lot to Prince Albert, who looked like his eyes were about to water when Charles stepped up to the podium, then later spraying the champagne.

  13. Processional race? ‘The race’ where everyone is trying to drive as slow as possible for 78 laps. This was an attempt of mass hypnosis!

  14. The C4 commentary mentioned that the Red Bull pit crew came out into their pit box, even though MV wasn’t pitting that lap, didn’t pull the air hoses out of the way, apparently to make LH’s pit entry more awkward to slow the Merc stop. I didn’t see this, but if that was the case, it is pretty poor behaviour on the part of Red Bull.

  15. The best bit about the race was my hour long nap and the two beers I drank during the grid walk.

  16. Marc Schechter
    27th May 2024, 3:25

    I loved crofty trying to convince us that Piastri was going to pit from 2nd place lol

    Reply moderated
  17. Watched the race in ten minutes – just fast forward, check the driver positions haven’t changed, fast forward some more. What an absolute snooze fest in a calendar of snooze fests. Monaco needs to redesign the track for overtaking or lose the race.

  18. If you ever work in marketing Monaco is a case study in value and why you often have to ignore what people say, especially those calling for Monaco to be dropped or removed from calendar. This would be without doubt the biggest error F1 could make.

    David Ogilvy once said “The trouble with market research is that people don’t think what they feel, they don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say.”. F1 basically needs to ignore all calls to change Monaco, because it’s still quite clearly the most prestigious and important race on the calendar. Remember, follow what people do rather than what they say. The celebrations and emotion of Leclerc tell their own story.

    This recent trend of reviewing ‘races’ is an error and misunderstand what makes F1 popular from fans. They aren’t films. They are part of a longer saga. I have said this this a million times but ‘close-racing’ is NOT in short supply in motorsport. It can be found at every kart club meeting. I know how many people watch them, because they are now even live-streamed, and beyond family and friends the viewership is near zero. What matters is high-stakes, and F1 has that, whereas others don’t. This may be perception based, but so much of what human’s value is based on mere perceptions.

    Monaco is what embues value onto F1. It’s part of an alchemy of factors that comes together that makes F1 ‘feel’ like the most meaningful championship. I know for a lot of ‘logic’ minded people that doesn’t make sense, but unless you follow karting as much as F1 you are a victim of the alchemy just as much as any hardcore F1 fan.

    Sport often derives it’s value from its history. The fact you can watch old videos of F1 racing at Monaco and instantly recognise means you understand F1 has captivated people for many years. This all adds to the subtle psychological mechanism. Monaco is important, because well…. it’s important.

    The overtaking doesn’t really matter all that much. It’s over-stated how important it is in terms of a compelling race series. The fact Monaco is such a terrible race (on paper, though in reality it’s often interesting) only proves this. The fact it’s a race where Saturday is uber important actually aids in creating something different.

    Long live monaco.

    1. @Alan Dove An excellent post to read, thanks. Given the probable alternatives to Monaco, another bland and history-less new track, I’m happy with it staying but remain frustrated by the failure to provide somewhere to overtake and issues like the free tyre change rule under red flags. There were three collision incidents on the first lap involving seven drivers (a third of the field): as Hamilton implied to his time, it’s not rocket science to predict the likelihood of some race-stopping collision on the opening laps.
      I also agree that it’s not passing per se that makes Formula 1 special. However it does need jeopardy. With wet weather racing less frequent and car reliability at an all time high, that can only be provided by competitive racing, especially at the front. At least this season, somewhat unexpectedly, it seems to be happening and Red Bull are being tested. Monaco was a classic combination of thrilling qualifying and dull race. There must be some way of injecting some of the former into the latter.

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