Monaco’s own Charles Leclerc was initially left speechless after finally achieving the Monaco Grand Prix victory of his dreams, having lead the pack from pole position to the chequered flag at his home circuit.

Leclerc claimed pole in the 2021 and 2022 editions, only for victory to slip through his fingers thanks technical problems and pit stop issues, but he has now become the first Monegasque driver to win the GP in the Principality since Louis Chiron behind the wheel of a Bugatti in 1931.

Having aced the all-important qualifying session, Leclerc avoided opening-lap drama and mastered the race restart to retain his P1 advantage, before managing the gap back to McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Scuderia Ferrari team mate Carlos Sainz.

When asked how he felt after getting out of the car to the cheers of an ecstatic home crowd, Leclerc said “No words can explain that… It’s such a difficult race, I think the fact that twice I’ve been starting on pole position and we couldn’t quite make it makes it even better in a way.”

“It means a lot, obviously. It’s the race that made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day. It was a difficult race emotionally because already 15 laps to the end you’re just hoping that nothing happens, already the emotions were coming.”

At this point Leclerc said memories of his late father came flooding back. Hervé Leclerc was himself a former F3 driver, and supported his son throughout his karting career, before passing midway through his title-winning F2 campaign in 2017.

“I have to say that I was thinking to my dad a lot more than what I thought while driving,” Leclerc continued, adding that “obviously he’s given everything for me to be here, and it was a dream of ours for me to race here and to win, so it’s unbelievable.”

The scene was set for a very memorable podium celebration, as Leclerc and HSH Prince Albert enjoyed the Monegasque anthem before splashing the celebratory champaign. It is truly a special day in Monaco.

Featured image courtesy of @ScuderiaFerrari on X