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Leclerc and the Monaco curse: When racing at home is a nightmare

Charles Leclerc is having an understated start to the season. The F1 championship runner-up in 2022 has only been able to shine in Baku.

In the Azerbaijan Grand Prix he scored 22 points and took pole position.

In the rest of the races he scored a meagre 12 points: two seventh places and two retirements. As a result, the Monegasque is seventh in the drivers' standings (34p).

Now it's time for his home race. As always, the '16' will be highly motivated for obvious reasons.

Although this time he hopes that the result will be very different from other occasions.

Running in the streets of the Principality, which he knows so well, usually brings him bad luck.

The disaster of 2022

The final straw came last year. Leclerc took pole position, but a bad strategic decision by Ferrari condemned him to fourth.

He failed to score a podium finish when he was the favourite to win.

A long history of misfortune

But the 25-year-old's jinx is not limited to the 2022 Monaco race. His curse goes back even further.

When he was racing in F2 in 2021, he had to retire from a race in which it seemed that his victory was assured. He won the championship that year, but was left with the thorn in his side from the home race.

That title earned him a seat at Sauber F1 for the 2018 season. In qualifying he could only finish 14th. And in Sunday's race he collided with Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso and couldn't finish the race.

The following year, now with Ferrari, the nightmare happened again. Qualifying was a disaster and he had to settle for 15th. That made him risk too much the next day.

He wanted to shine and trying to hard made him make a mistake. On lap 11 he crashed into the wall while trying to overtake Nico Hulkenberg's Renault.

More disasters

In 2020 there was no race in Monaco. The most glamorous event on the calendar was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A year later, the Grand Prix did take place and he took pole position in a strange way.

He crashed into the wall during Q3 whilst in P1, bringing out a red flag that ended the session and meant nobody could beat him.

The problem is that this accident caused him gearbox problems. Ferrari decided to let him go out on track and when he was on his way to the grid he had a problem with the left drive shaft that denied him the possibility to participate in the event that motivates him the most.

And last year the same thing happened. He had everything in his favour until the rain came.

On top of that, Ferrari did not get the plan right and the Monegasque was condemned to fourth place. The race was surprisingly won by Checo Perez.

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