Former F1 driver-turned-pundit Jolyon Palmer and BBC F1 commentator Jack Nicholls and Jolyon Palmer pointed out to Charles Leclerc’s very unlucky series in Monte Carlo, comparing his bad luck in Monaco to some sort of “witchcraft”.
Charles Leclerc’s incredible bad luck in front of his own fans is well-known and 2022 seemed like the perfect opportunity to end it given the pace of Ferrari’s F1-75 car, especially after taking pole position on Saturday. Sadly, it was not meant to be, as Charles finished outside the podium after Ferrari was surprised by an aggressive Red Bull overcut strategy which was possible due to the changing weather conditions.
The Ferrari driver, who until this season had never finished a Monaco GP during his Formula 1 career, also took to the track one week ahead of the Monte Carlo race for some demo runs but crashed a Niki Lauda-era Ferrari during the Historic Grand Prix after a brake problem made him lose control of the car, seemingly continuing the ‘curse’ that has haunted him since his days in Formula 2 in 2017, when he retired from the lead of the feature race.
Talking about Charles Leclerc’s misfortune after dominating the early stages of the Monaco Grand Prix, Jolyon Palmer speculated about the effects of pressure on the Italian side after assuming such a strong position early on.
“I wonder if Ferrari were feeling pressure, leading in Monaco, one-two in Monaco,” he said on the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast – “Red Bull had nothing to lose, so they could do the [Sergio] Perez pitstop, and maybe Perez finishes fifth if he can’t get past Norris. Red Bull could throw caution to the wind, whereas Ferrari were under a lot more pressure in a one-two position, and I wonder if they just didn’t respond well under pressure.” – he added.
Jolyon Palmer is aware of the missed opportunity for Scuderia Ferrari, as the Monaco circuit was one of the tracks that should have suited the more nimble F1-75 over Red Bull’s RB18, unlike the following two tracks, in Baku and Canada, that most likely will favour Red Bull:
“Championship-wise, Ferrari could have done with a win here. This is a real Ferrari track and we knew it. It’s all about qualifying, which they’re good at. The tyre degradation is not a big thing, which they’re not so good at. This was a Ferrari track, and Leclerc actually losing points to [Max] Verstappen, in the grand scheme of things, they might regret that in the long run.” – he pointed out.
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Sports commentator Jack Nicholls agreed with Jolyon Palmer’s statements, but made the case for Charles Leclerc’s misfortune that he didn’t get a straightforward dry race which likely would have meant an easy win for the Ferrari driver, based on the data gathered during Friday’s free practice sessions:
“All of these things, it’s just sort of bad luck or whatever – it’s not Monaco specific luck. But then, when you’re on pole in Monaco… Jarno Trulli has won from pole in Monaco (in 2004)! It’s the first wet Monaco race in six years, the second wet Monaco race in 12 years – wet Monaco races don’t come along very often! The chances…when he’s on pole, and then he does the job still – he’s still nailing it. Even the ones where he’s been leading in F2 and the car fails. I don’t believe in [the curse], but the case for witchcraft is getting stronger and stronger!” – he concluded.
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