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Leclerc conquers Monaco with 1st win at home race


Charles Leclerc conquered his home-race demons.

The Ferrari driver cruised to victory Sunday, earning his first win at the Monaco Grand Prix after four drivers retired from the race because of two crashes in a hectic first lap.

McLaren's Oscar Piastri finished second, while Carlos Sainz came third.

Leclerc was visibly emotional after the victory. He has a history of bad luck on his home track, as he was unable to start the 2021 race after securing pole due to a driveshaft problem. Strategy issues also kept him off the Monaco podium in 2022 after he started in pole position.

It was Leclerc's first win since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.

Following the race, he dedicated the victory to his father Herve, who died four days after the younger Leclerc won the feature race at the 2017 Formula 2 event in Baku.

"I have to say, I was thinking of my dad a lot more than I expected while driving," Leclerc said, according to Motor Sports' Chris Medland.

In the first lap of Sunday's race, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, and Nico Hulkenberg exited following two separate incidents.

In one case, Magnussen clipped Perez's rear tire, causing the latter to spin into the crash barrier.

In a separate incident, Ocon and his Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly were involved in a scary collision that lifted Ocon's vehicle off the ground before he was ruled out of the race.

Gasly was furious with his teammate, who tried to pass when there wasn't space. "Why did he try to attack me?! Oh my gosh!" he screamed on the team radio. "The whole car is damaged now!"

Ocon admitted he was at fault after the race, and the incident cost him a five-place grid penalty at the next event in Canada.

Driver standings leader Max Verstappen finished Sunday's race in sixth position, meaning he only holds a 31-point advantage over Leclerc heading into the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Ferrari also pulled within 24 points of Red Bull for top position in the constructor standings following Sunday's results.

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