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Breaking the Crown Jewel Curse: Leclerc Triumphs at the Monaco Grand Prix

The crown jewel of the season has finally arrived; the Monaco Grand Prix was one of the most entertaining races of the season. From collisions to home wins and everything in between, let's break down the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Monaco Grand Prix took place from May 24 through May 26. The streets of Monaco is a known circuit due its history in the racing world. Not only is it one of the most luxurious races of the season, but also one of its oldest races of the season. The circuit made its debut in 1929 under the patronage of Prince Louis II. The Monaco Grand Prix completes the triple crown of the motorsport industry along with the 24 hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500.

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The Monaco circuit has many tight corners and drivers often struggle with them. They end up clipping the corner with their front wing as they turn in. This happened to drivers Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen during the first practice. At the end of the first practice, Lewis Hamilton was the top driver with a time of  1:12:169, Oscar Piastri was 0:029 behind Hamilton, and George Russell was 0:126 behind Hamilton. The second practice of the weekend showed significant improvement for Leclerc and other drivers as well. Most drivers were on the medium tyres except for Leclerc, Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll, Alex Albon, Sergio Perez, Logan Sargeant, and Nico Hulkenberg, who ran with soft tyres and Yuki Tsunoda, Danie Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri who ran on the hard tyres. It seemed that the medium tyre strategy was not  favorable for this practice session since most drivers  struggled to stay within the track limits. However, there was one driver had the plan in their favor, and it was none other than the Monegasque driver Leclerc, who finished first in the second practice.

The streets of Monaco once again favored their hometown hero as Leclerc finished on top at the end of the last practice session. However, the real action would be again a few hours later during the qualifying session. The luck of raging bulls is slowly fading as Perez was out in the first session of qualifying, and Verstappen qualified sixth for race day. It was a good day for the prancing horses as Leclerc obtained pole position and Carlos Sainz qualified in third place; in the middle of the Ferrari sandwich was McLaren’s very own Oscar Piastri, who qualified in second place.

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It was finally race day in Monaco, and the grandstands and balconies of the nearby apartments were filled with spectators awaiting the most prestigious race of the season. It was “lights out and away we go”  for one lap until tragedy struck for Perez, Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen. The three drivers were involved in a severe collision, which resulted in a red flag and the race coming to a stop. At the race restart, Leclerc had once again taken off and was ahead of the pack and would stay that way until the end of the race. By the 70th lap of the race, it was clear that Leclerc would win for the first time on his home soil after many years of racing on his home soil and having the worst luck on his home track. Leclerc finally preserved and broke “the Monaco curse” by winning the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, and Piastri coming in second, while Sainz finished in third.

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And to finally make it in front of my whole family, my friends that were watching all over the track is a very, very, very special feeling,” said Leclerc at the post-race conference.

Edited by: Sarah Muñoz

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