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5 things that made 2024 Monaco Grand Prix worth watching (or was it?)

Charles Leclerc finally won in his backyard (while others were practically asleep)

Who was glad to hear David Croft back in the commentary box? PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

Despite Formula 1 regulations growing in size, the Monaco Grand Prix remains a test of tire endurance, pit strategy, and possibly massive balls of the 20 drivers. While it may sound like a boring race for everyone else, it was also a drive for one driver in red to finish on top of his home race, and the ending didn’t disappoint.

Looked like a scene straight from 'Iron Man 2'. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

1. Checo caught in a Haas sandwich. A first lap in a Monaco is the definition of drive to survive, and Kevin Magnussen (Haas) was involved yet again as the Dane attempted to squeeze past Sergio Perez (Red Bull) up the second corner.

However, Kevin came into contact with the wall causing a pit maneuver to the RB20, and unfortunately tagged Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) along for the ride. All three drivers left the Beau Rivage unharmed but feeling unlucky, and the race was red-flagged.

Tiptoeing by the seaside. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

2. A French civil war erupted. Another first-lap drama came after the Haas-Checo sandwich as the two Alpine drivers clashed with dire repercussions. Esteban Ocon tried to pass his teammate Pierre Gasly in the eighth corner, and they unfortunately caught air time after both of their wheels came into contact.

Initially, Ocon would receive a 10-second penalty for the race, but since his A524 had to be retired, that converted into a five-place grid penalty for the next race.

Carlos Sainz was lucky to have his position restored. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

3. McLaren channeled its inner Ayrton Senna. The papaya team brought justice to the commemorative yellow-and-green livery with impressive finishes of P4 for Lando Norris and P2 for Oscar Piastri.

On the first lap, the Australian defended from Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) with the Spaniard catching a puncture into the first turn and stopping in front of the casino. Fortunately, the red flag didn’t change the order, and Sainz maintained P3 till the end.

Charles Leclerc's scream could've been heard from outer space. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

4. The curse was lifted. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) couldn’t catch a break in his hometown.

From DNFs in 2018 and 2019, and a DNS in 2021, to finishes behind the top three in 2022 and 2023, the Monégasque had never gotten to wave his birth flag for five seasons…until last weekend.

Throughout the days leading up to race day, everyone felt the hype of Charles finally winning in his home city after topping the leaderboard, as well as worrying that something might go wrong beyond his control.

Thankfully, Charles crossed the finish line in P1, screaming in jubilee over the radio and across the parc fermé. He broke the curse.

Even Lance Stroll, of all people, made the Monaco GP moderately exciting. PHOTOS FROM FORMULA 1

5. The rest of the field did their best to maintain the crowds attention. After the restart, the surviving grid became very cautious with their driving style minimizing on-track battles and prioritizing pit stop timing.

In fairness, two drivers achieved the impossible of awakening commentators worldwide during the latter parts of the race.

On Lap 50, Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) punctured his left rear tire after brushing the barrier in the Nouvelle Chicane, which neatly departed outside the pit entrance.

Logan Sargeant (Williams) inadvertently contributed to the action by being overtaken by Valtteri Bottas (Sauber) on Lap 51 inside Mirabeau and Stroll on Lap 57 into Sainte Devote.

However, reigning champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull) joked about the lack of action and wished he’d brought a pillow mid-race.

George Russell and Max Verstappen comfortably cruised around town to finish in P5 and P6, respectively. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

Let’s hope F1 regains that lost energy when the season continues at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix on June 9 (June 10, 2am, Philippine time).

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.