Leclerc looking to break Monaco curse after Spain heartbreak

Charles Leclerc is aiming to see the chequered flag in Monaco for the first time in his career.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc insists he has no additional weight on his shoulders heading into this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix after a strong start to the year.

Leclerc has won two of the first six races of the season, and ended on the podium in two of the four races that Max Verstappen has won, but an upturn in pace from Red Bull, coupled by Leclerc’s reliability failure in Spain last time out, puts the Dutchman at the helm by six points.

After losing a total of 32 points last weekend in Barcelona to Verstappen, Leclerc enters his home race after a lot of misfortune there over the years.

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He failed to finish either Formula 2 race in 2017, before a brake failure and two qualifying mishaps ultimately denied him the chance of scoring any points in any of the three races he has contested in Monaco in Formula 1.

However, he does not necessarily believe in curses, karma and suchlike, so it is not something that concerns him.

“I don’t think about it, of course, it’s not been the luckiest track for me overall but it’s life, it happens… sometimes things just don’t go your way,” he said on Thursday.

“I’ll just take the same approach as I’ve done in the first few races of 2022 because it’s been successful until now.”

Having made his best-ever start to the season so far in 2022, one might be forgiven for suggesting that there is more pressure on the Monegasque to deliver now, but he disagrees.

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“Honestly, I don’t feel the added pressure of bigger responsibility this year than any other years,” explained Leclerc.

“Last year also and the year before it was also my, or our, responsibility to get back on top with such a big name as Ferrari.

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“I just try and focus on the job and am confident that whenever we do the perfect job on the weekend we have a shot for a win this year.”

Ferrari also lost the lead of the Constructors’ Championship to Red Bull in Spain as a result of Leclerc’s engine failure and a mistake by Carlos Sainz that saw him finish fourth behind George Russell.