Leclerc focusing forward as he looks to end Monaco race drought

Charles Leclerc says his focus is already switching to trying to convert pole position into victory having yet to finish on the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Saturday’s impressive qualifying performance — in which Leclerc did two laps good enough for pole position — delivered his third pole at his home race. However, on one of those occasions he failed to start and in the other, a strategic error relegate him from the lead to fourth. Leclerc has never finished in the top three even in a junior race in Monaco — a target he admits he’s already focusing on despite how special the qualifying result felt.

“It feels as good as the first one,” Leclerc said. “I think in Monaco, the emotions you get, the tension that you have before getting into the car is so much more than anywhere else on the calendar. So yeah, once you finish a lap and you hear that you’re on pole position, it’s always a very special feeling.


“However, maybe in the past the emotions were staying for longer. But now obviously having started twice on pole and not bringing the victory — which is at the end what matters most — is where my mind is at at the moment, just trying to prepare and make everything possible.

“It’s been a rollercoaster. The weekend has been incredible, until after FP3 when there was an issue with my engine and there was an engine swap at the very last minute, which was quite tricky. But fortunately for me, there wasn’t any consequences on my weekend.”

Leclerc acknowledges the main part of the job is done by securing pole position, given the weather forecast is dry for Sunday, and insists he doesn’t believe the previous failings add to the pressure in the race.

“No, not at all. I think the peak of the tension actually of the whole season I would say is in qualifying in Monaco. Then for the race, it’s not like you are more relaxed, but… well yeah, you are more relaxed! Just because the race, you’ve got to focus on the start, you’ve got to focus around the pit stop — because obviously the laps around the pit stop are very important — but the qualifying in Monaco is a big part of the job.

“It is true in the past we didn’t have the success that we wanted. But I don’t want to think about that anymore. And I’m pretty sure that it will be a good one this weekend.”

Story originally appeared on Racer