Ferrari Facing ‘Unavoidable’ Title Race Consideration After Leclerc’s Monaco Win, Says Team Ambassador Gene

Ferrari ambassador Marc Gene discusses unavoidable championship considerations after Charles Leclerc’s win at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Unavoidable Title Ambitions

Ferrari’s recent performance at the Monaco Grand Prix has shifted their championship aspirations into sharper focus. Team ambassador Marc Gene has acknowledged that considerations of a title assault are now “unavoidable,” despite team principal Frederic Vasseur’s preference to stay focused on individual races.

Charles Leclerc’s Triumphant Home Win

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Charles Leclerc’s victory at the Monaco Grand Prix marked a significant milestone, not only for the driver but also for the Ferrari team. This win was Leclerc’s first on home soil and Ferrari’s second victory of the season, following Carlos Sainz’s triumph in Australia. The success in Monaco was a momentous occasion, given the historical struggles Leclerc faced in his home Grand Prix.

Closer Championship Standings

The race at Monaco proved challenging for Red Bull, with Max Verstappen finishing in sixth place. This result has tightened both the drivers’ and constructors’ standings. Verstappen’s lead over Leclerc is now reduced to 31 points, while Ferrari trails Red Bull by just 24 points in the constructors’ championship. These developments have inevitably sparked discussions about Ferrari’s potential to challenge for the title.

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Gene’s Insights on the Victory

Marc Gene, in an appearance on the F1 Nation podcast, reflected on Leclerc’s home win and its implications for the championship. He emphasized the importance of Leclerc’s performance throughout the weekend, highlighting his speed and control, especially in slow-speed corners.

“Already on Friday, he was extremely fast,” Gene noted. “The car was very good as well, especially in the slow-speed corners. I would even say today was meant to happen, even what happened with Carlos, that he was reinstated P3 [after the red flag].”

Gene expressed relief that the race had no more pit stops for the leaders, which simplified the race for Leclerc and alleviated the pressure of a potential mishap in Monaco, where Leclerc has historically faced challenges.

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The Championship Outlook

Despite Vasseur’s advice to avoid focusing on the championship, Gene admitted that it’s difficult not to consider it given their current standing. With only 24 points separating Ferrari from Red Bull, and 20-something points being a minimal gap in the drivers’ standings, the championship is well within reach.

Gene also shared a tense moment from the weekend, recounting how Leclerc’s position in Q1 was nearly compromised. “Funnily enough, the most difficult moment was Q1,” Gene recalled. “He had one lap. He could have been out of Q1 – it’s incredible. The race? At both starts he was in control; he was doing pace management. He was in control all weekend.”

Leclerc’s Growing Confidence

Leclerc’s confidence under braking and in various corners, such as Rascasse and Sainte Devote, has been a key factor in his recent performances. Gene highlighted how recent set-up work on the car has aligned perfectly with Leclerc’s driving style, contributing to his success.

“But you could already tell from [the previous round in] Imola, the car is a lot to his liking lately and you can tell he’s very happy [about] the way the car is behaving [with] how he drives,” Gene added.

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Ferrari’s Championship Drought

Ferrari is aiming to end a championship drought that dates back over 15 years. Their last constructors’ title came in 2008, and their most recent drivers’ championship was secured by Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. With their current form and the performance improvements, Ferrari’s prospects for ending this drought look promising.

Conclusion

Charles Leclerc’s victory at the Monaco Grand Prix has brought Ferrari’s championship ambitions into the spotlight. As the season progresses and the standings tighten, the team’s focus will inevitably shift towards mounting a serious title challenge. With Leclerc’s growing confidence and the car’s improved performance, Ferrari fans have much to look forward to as the campaign moves forward.

FAQs

Q. How significant was Charles Leclerc’s win at the Monaco Grand Prix?

A. Leclerc’s win at the Monaco Grand Prix was highly significant as it was his first victory on home soil and Ferrari’s second win of the season. It also tightened the championship standings, bringing Ferrari closer to Red Bull.

Q. What did Marc Gene say about Leclerc’s performance in Monaco?

A. Marc Gene praised Leclerc’s speed and control throughout the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, particularly in slow-speed corners. He highlighted the importance of Leclerc’s performance and the strategic elements that played in their favour.

Q. How close are Ferrari to Red Bull in the current standings?

A. After the Monaco Grand Prix, Ferrari is just 24 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings, and Leclerc trails Verstappen by 31 points in the drivers’ standings.

Q. What challenges did Ferrari face during the Monaco Grand Prix?

A. Ferrari faced a tense moment during Q1 when Leclerc nearly missed out on advancing. However, Leclerc’s strong performance in the race, coupled with strategic advantages, helped secure the victory.

Q. What is the significance of Ferrari’s recent performances?

A. Ferrari’s recent performances, including wins by Leclerc and Sainz, signify a resurgence in their competitiveness. The team’s improvements in car performance and driver confidence have positioned them as serious contenders for the championship.

Q. When was Ferrari’s last championship win?

A. Ferrari’s last constructors’ championship win was in 2008, and their most recent drivers’ championship was in 2007, achieved by Kimi Raikkonen.

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