Leclerc: Failing to start in Monaco ‘difficult to take’

Charles Leclerc says failing to start Sunday’s Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix from pole was “difficult” to take after a driveshaft issue emerged on his Ferrari shortly before the grid.

Leclerc: Failing to start in Monaco ‘difficult to take’

Leclerc had been due to start his home race from pole after topping qualifying for Ferrari on Saturday, but was concerned after the session about the condition of his gearbox following a crash at the end of Q3.

Despite Ferrari conducting checks that showed “no serious damage” to the gearbox, the team found a driveshaft issue when firing up Leclerc’s car before going to the grid.

It meant Leclerc was unable to make the start of the race, denying him a chance to fight for his first victory since the 2019 Italian Grand Prix.

“In the garage, it was very, very difficult to feel OK,” Leclerc said in the TV pen during the race.

“But yeah, I guess now I’m getting used to this feeling here [in Monaco], unfortunately. I’ve never finished a race here. This year I don’t start it, starting from pole.

“It’s a difficult one to take. But I also feel for the team to be honest, the mechanics have done such a hard job yesterday to try and check everything.

“The mechanics were finally a bit happy this morning to see that everything seems fine, and all of the parts were fine. And then this happened. It’s a shame for everyone.”

Marshals assist Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, after he crashes out of Qualifying

Marshals assist Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, after he crashes out of Qualifying

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Leclerc has never reached the chequered flag in Monaco, having retired twice in Formula 2 and in his two previous F1 starts.

The failure to start came less than 24 hours after team boss Mattia Binotto said Ferrari “will not gamble” on Leclerc’s gearbox, saying the team would take a grid penalty if deemed necessary.

But Leclerc said that analysis was ongoing to understand what the exact issue was that caused the driveshaft problem and how it related to the Q3 crash.

“I wouldn't speak too much, because for now I am not aware of everything,” Leclerc said.

“But what I know is apparently it’s not coming from the gearbox, and it’s more coming from the rear left of the car. Whether it’s correlated with the crash or not, this we’ll have to see with the investigations after the race.

“But it’s still early days to speak, I guess.”

shares
comments

Related video

Leclerc fails to start Monaco GP with left driveshaft issue

Previous article

Leclerc fails to start Monaco GP with left driveshaft issue

Next article

F1 Monaco GP: Verstappen dominates as Mercedes struggles

F1 Monaco GP: Verstappen dominates as Mercedes struggles
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021