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Red Bull Advisor Backs Charles Leclerc Over Max Verstappen to Take the Monaco GP Win

Anirban Aly Mandal

Red Bull Advisor Backs Charles Leclerc Over Max Verstappen to Take the Monaco GP Win

The battle for the 2024 F1 championship has intensified as Ferrari and McLaren continue to add more pressure on Red Bull. Although Max Verstappen is still the favorite to win the championship this season, he has not been at his dominant best. And Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has now claimed that the Dutchman is unlikely to even win this weekend’s Monaco GP. Instead, the Austrian claims that home favorite Charles Leclerc will win the race.

Speaking to, Marko said, “For qualifying, he is the favorite for me, yes, and qualifying is more than half the battle here.” Since overtaking is virtually impossible on the Monaco circuit, track position is key.

Charles Leclerc is considered one of the fastest drivers over a single lap in Formula 1 today. Naturally, his skill alongside the pace of the SF-24 has dimmed the optimism within Red Bull of clinching yet another pole this season. Marko even cited Ferrari’s performance at Imola last weekend to make his case.

According to the 81-year-old, Ferrari had a better package than the Red Bull at Imola despite the eventual race result. Leclerc finished P3 – eight seconds behind Verstappen. But given Leclerc’s track record at his home Grand Prix, the Dutchman might still be in with a chance.

Charles Leclerc and his Monaco GP curse in F1

Racing in their home Grand Prix is a dream for every Formula 1 driver. However, for Charles Leclerc, it has often been a nightmare in Monaco. Every year since his debut (with the exception of 2020 owing to the Pandemic), the streets of the Principality have been a letdown for the #16 driver.

His relationship and bad luck with his home Grand Prix have gone down in F1 folklore as the ‘Monaco Curse’. His debut season in 2018 saw him race on the streets of Monaco in a Sauber. In the dying embers of the race, however, his brakes gave up, thereby sending him into the barriers at the approach to the Nouvelle Chicane.

2019 ended up in heartbreak as well. After a Q1 exit for Ferrari, Leclerc made contact with Nico Hulkenberg during the race. Eventually, the team deemed enough damage was done to his floor to retire him from the race.

Two years later in 2021, he managed to bag his first pole position in Monaco. However, he got the pole position after a hefty crash at turn 16 during Q3.

But despite Ferrari’s confidence that the damage to the #16 driver’s car was not extensive, during the formation lap to the grid, he suffered from a driveshaft failure. As a result, he did not start the race.

Meanwhile, in both 2022 and 2023, he at least finished his home Grand Prix. A strategy mix-up saw him double-stack with teammate Carlos Sainz in 2022. He eventually lost track position and ended up in P4. Last year, Leclerc crossed the line P6 and finished more than a whopping 60 seconds behind race-winner Max Verstappen.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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