The Friday practice sessions running have concluded. Charles Leclerc has topped both of the practice sessions this Friday, which must be a huge confidence boost for tomorrow’s incredibly important qualifying session. This continues his great practice performances, from Spain last weekend, where he topped all three practice sessions and qualified on pole. But he would be hoping that the outcome of the race is better this time.
The Monegasque has catastrophically bad luck at Monaco, which is his home race – he has never completed it in Formula 1, and as a result, has no points from these races. The most famous occasion was undoubtedly last year when he crashed during the final qualifying session (while he was on pole) and was unable to start the race due to a driveshaft problem.
Nevertheless, locked into a championship battle with Max Verstappen, this is not only an essential weekend for his confidence, but also for his championship hopes. As such, Ferrari and Charles Leclerc cannot hope to slip up during this edition of Monaco’s crown jewel. Here is a summary of his weekend yet.
Charles Leclerc was, for the most part, doing incredibly well during the first practice session in Monaco. Despite a lockup in the first corner (known as Sainte Devote) where many other drivers also locked up – including championship leader Max Verstappen, for the most part, Leclerc’s session went smoothly. However, he did report that his engine had a ‘strange’ behaviour when entering turn 17 (La Rascasse) which he had also noticed in Miami.
Leclerc completed 28 laps during the first practice session, with his fastest time being 1:14.531 on the medium tire, which was 0.039 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez’s time of 1:14.570. The top 5 was completed by Carlos Sainz (1:14.601), Max Verstappen (1:14.712), and Lando Norris (1:15.056).
Charles Leclerc finished first in this practice session as well, and teammate Carlos Sainz completed a Ferrari 1-2 for the practice session. The session was disrupted for a period of time, due to Daniel Ricciardo’s crash – where he lost the rear of the car and went into the barriers at Turn 15 (also called Piscine: Swimming Pool).
The Monaco native’s benchmark lap was a 1:12.656, which was only 0.44 ahead of Carlos Sainz’s own time of 1:12.700, after them, Sergio Perez completed the top 3, around 0.379 behind Sainz’s time. Max Verstapppen and Lando Norris finished in the same order they had during FP1, and completed the top 5. Leclerc completed 29 laps in the Monaco streets.
Charles Leclerc will hope to capitalize on his good practice performance today and rally the support of the crowd so he can outqualify his title rival Max Verstappen tomorrow – and also end his bad streak at Monaco. The crowd is certainly behind the Ferrari driver – as is evident by this banner. Charles L’eclair roughly translates to Charles the Lighting.