Why Leclerc - historically - might be better off not hoping for pole

F1 News

leclerc still waiting for first podium finish in monaco
25 May at 09:30
Last update 25 May at 09:50
  • Corwin Kunst

Charles Leclerc will go for another pole position in Monaco on Saturday afternoon. He already conquered P1 in Formula 2 in 2017, and he was fastest in the king class of motorsport in 2021 and 2022. However, there is one but: never before in F1, F2 or F3 (then GP3) has Leclerc been on the podium in his own home race.

That Leclerc has speed and feels good in 'his' Monaco was evident during the first two free practice sessions. In FP1, he may not have recorded a top time, but that had everything to do with the fact that - unlike the competition - he did not yet opt for the softs. In FP2, he was fastest, two tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

The ingredients for a pole position are thus in place and, if successful, a first podium finish also seems possible for the Monegasque. Yet the now 26-year-old driver does not have the best memories of starting on pole. In 2017, 2021 and 2022, he was allowed to start from first place, but three times no podium followed. Pretty unordinary on a circuit where overtaking is virtually impossible.

Formula 2:

2017: DNF

Formula 1:

2018: DNF
2019: DNF
2021: DNS
2022: P4
2023: P6

In 2017, pole-sitter Leclerc suffered mechanical problems as a Formula 2 driver, forcing him out of contention. In 2021, he did not even start the Grand Prix on behalf of Ferrari after damaging his car in qualifying a day earlier following a crash in Q3. Ferrari hoped there would be no damage to the SF-21's gearbox, but that turned out to be the case. In 2022, poor strategy by Ferrari was the cause of him missing out on the podium.