Leclerc: Failure to start Monaco GP 'a difficult one to take'

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari, who is not starting the race. 23.05.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco
© XPB 

A gutted Charles Leclerc said his failure to start Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix from pole after suffering a driveshaft issue was "a difficult one to take".

The Ferrari driver radioed in to his crew on his lap to the grid to signal a gearbox issue, after which the Scuderia brought its driver back to the team's garage.

Unfortunately, a preliminary investigation into the problem revealed a rear left driveshaft issue that was not reparable in time for Leclerc to start the race, even from the pitlane.

"In the garage, it was very, very difficult to feel OK," Leclerc told the media shortly after his withdrawal and the start of the race.

"But yeah, I guess now I'm getting used to this feeling here [in Monaco], unfortunately. I've never finished a race here. This year I don't start it, starting from pole.

"It's a difficult one to take. But I also feel for the team to be honest, the mechanics have done such a hard job yesterday to try and check everything.

"The mechanics were finally a bit happy this morning to see that everything seems fine, and all of the parts were fine. And then this happened. It's a shame for everyone."

Monaco has been anything but a happy hunting ground for Leclerc in the past, having failed to see the checkered flag on his two previous Grands Prix in the Principality.

The disappointed local hero says his team had yet to determine the cause of the driveshaft failure on his SF21 and whether the issue was related to his crash at the end of qualifying on Saturday.

"I wouldn't speak too much, because for now I am not aware of everything," Leclerc said.

"But what I know is apparently it's not coming from the gearbox, and it's more coming from the rear left of the car.

"Whether it's correlated with the crash or not, this we'll have to see with the investigations after the race. But it's still early days to speak, I guess."

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