MONACO (Reuters) – Charles Leclerc carries a burden of expectation into Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, and a nightmare observe document on metropolis streets he has identified all his life, however the Ferrari driver denies feeling the pressure.
The 24-year-old Monegasque was main the Formula One championship by 19 factors in Spain final weekend, and set for the race victory, till he was halted by an influence unit downside.
That handed the general result in Red Bull’s reigning champion Max Verstappen, who gained in Monaco final 12 months after Leclerc was unable to begin from pole place. The Dutch driver now has a six-point benefit.
Since his debut in 2018, Leclerc has but to attain some extent at residence.
This 12 months he was gained twice and been on pole 4 occasions in six races and will lastly change into the primary Monegasque to attain factors at residence since Louis Chiron completed third in 1950.
The Ferrari followers have hung their banners out, fervently hoping that is the 12 months to finish the jinx.
“I do not give it some thought,” Leclerc instructed reporters on the harbourside paddock on Thursday. “Of course, it isn’t been the luckiest observe for me total however it’s life, it occurs… typically issues simply do not go your manner.
“I’ll simply take the identical method as I’ve carried out in the primary few races of 2022 as a result of it has been profitable till now.”
Leclerc stated his accident in the ultimate minutes of qualifying final 12 months, which led to a driveshaft failure earlier than he may take his place on Sunday’s beginning grid, was simply all the way down to attempting too exhausting.
He was assured the Barcelona downside wouldn’t occur once more.
“Honestly, I do not really feel the added pressure of larger duty this 12 months than every other years,” he stated.
“Last 12 months additionally and the 12 months earlier than it was additionally my, or our, duty to get again on high with such an enormous identify as Ferrari.
“I simply attempt to give attention to the job and am assured that every time we do the right job on the weekend now we have a shot for a win this 12 months.”
Verstappen has gained the final three races, taking virtually most factors, however has but to win 4 in a row in Formula One. Like Leclerc, he additionally had a poor document in the principality till 2021.
“My Monaco race historical past was not so good however I lastly gained there final 12 months and there was a large aid as soon as I crossed the road,” he stated.
Mercedes and seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton is also an element, the champions again on the rise after battling a bouncing automotive.
“Monaco hasn’t at all times been our happiest observe, and slow-speed corners have not been our power this season as we noticed in Barcelona, however we have seen to this point this 12 months that something can occur,” stated group boss Toto Wolff.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, modifying by Ed Osmond)