NOT Gearbox! Unapologetic Charles Leclerc Clears the Air Regarding Dubious Monaco DNS

Published 05/23/2021, 10:07 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 23, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with Prince Albert II of Monaco with before the race Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


It was a rather anti-climactic end to the weekend in Monaco for the pole-sitter, Charles Leclerc. After a bitter-sweet qualifying on Saturday, all eyes were on Ferrari and their update over the Monegasque’s wrecked car.

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The impact suggested that Leclerc might have to change his gearbox or his chassis. And either way that would have seen him drop down the grid to P5. However, Ferrari showed no signs of panicking even after the two rounds of checks, with the latter taking place hours ahead of the race.

Ultimately, it was a thumbs up from the team, and Leclerc briefly sported a wide smile, realising that he gets to keep his pole to himself. But, minutes before the race, it all turned chaotic at Leclerc’s garage.

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The Monegasque claimed that he had issues with his gearbox while heading out to the grid. And the Ferrari crew rushed to the grid to examine what was wrong.

Shockingly, what followed was a huge heartbreak, not just for Leclerc, but also for the thousands of fans that swarmed to the circuit to watch their home hero lead his way to a race win. Following a quick check by the mechanics, Ferrari affirmed that Leclerc would not be starting the race.

But a question has constantly persisted since then. Did his DNS have something to do with his gearbox?

What did Charles Leclerc say?

In an interview, while the F1 race was going on in the backdrop, Leclerc clarified that his unfortunate retirement had nothing to do with his gearbox. Apparently, it was more of a driveshaft issue.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 23, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc before the race Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

The problem was with the rear left, but we need to see. It seems to be correlated to the crash, but the issue doesn’t seem to be with the gearbox. Still early days in the investigation,” Leclerc said.

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What’s more, Leclerc reckoned that he would have opted to go with the used gearbox even if it had offered him only 20% of seeing the checkered flag. Hence, this clearly hinted that he isn’t blaming his team for taking the gamble with the potentially damaged gearbox.

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Overall, it was a painful end for Leclerc’s home weekend. However, this is a good sign for Ferrari amidst their desperate efforts of racing at the top. So, will Baku portray a much improved and competitive Ferrari? Can Leclerc get his redemption at the subsequent street race?

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Rohit Kumar

743 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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