The most famous meeting of the Formula 1 season. All the riders online dream of hanging the Monaco Grand Prix, the most legendary, on their list. Maybe a little more Charles Leclerc, a native of the cliff. Jean Alesi, the former Ferrari driver and consultant at Canal +, which broadcasts the race this Sunday (15.00), told 20 minutes to be “sure” of a victory for Charles on his land, while the Monegasques have never completed a GP in the principality.
Did you expect Max Verstappen and RedBull to regain the lead in the World Cup at the Barcelona Grand Prix?
It happened by the way, no. Seeing a Ferrari pull over that way, immediately in the race, is quite traumatic both for the fans and for Charles Leclerc. Of course, we can not expect that. But I’m sure we’ll get to see this mano a mano between Max and Charles all season.
Will the difference be in reliability, do you think?
When you give up, you’re at 0. And with these competitors, it can quickly make a big difference. Which was the case in Barcelona. We are not going to find ourselves in seasons with many modifications, due to the establishment of a “budget ceiling”. The teams are going to make small changes little by little to always remain very competitive, so it’s more reliability that makes the big difference.
Should we be worried about Ferrari’s first withdrawal of the season due to mechanical problems?
Me, I do not believe that. For historically, when there is a real concern, it is almost the domino effect on cars. You break a first car, then the second one breaks. That was not the case, Carlos Sainz pushed to the end of the Grand Prix. The technical error happened with Charles’ car, but it is an isolated problem that can happen in motorsport. It unfortunately fell on Charles, but it is not a design problem. Max Verstappen cursed the entire GP against his DRS, Mercedes instructed his drivers to slow down in the final laps … Today, the competitiveness and competitiveness is so high that reliability can quickly change things.
Does this change anything in the title race for Ferrari and Leclerc?
No no. On the contrary, it gives a little more excitement. They have six differences [Verstappen compte 110 points au classement pilote contre 104 pour Leclerc], it is nothing. We want them wheel in wheel until the end.
Are you impressed with Ferrari’s start to the season?
Yes. I’m a real Scuderia fan and this good start to the season impresses me especially because of the new rules, everything has changed on the cars, they have not kept anything, everything is different. When it’s like that, practice practice practice, then you can quickly go in the wrong direction, and really have a bad season, without achieving good performances. After two difficult seasons, they could have been the first to miss each other. But they presented a hypercompetitive car. This is in honor of Mattia Binotto. Before the Imola Grand Prix, I visited the factory where the F1 cars are manufactured. It’s breathtaking, even for a connoisseur like me. I grew up and I spent five years at Ferrari, I know the locals. But the new buildings really impressed me, and the conductor is Mattia Binotto anyway.
Do you see Charles Leclerc winning the Monaco GP, the one who is so fast on this circuit, but at the same time so sticky?
That’s because he always arrived in Monaco with a car underneath. He came like a mad dog to snatch pole position and Grand Prix and it did not work in his favor. He also exaggerated and the margin of error is so small in Monaco that he had to make a mistake. Last year, he made a mistake after taking pole. This year he has a competitive car he does not need to overdo so it will work. I’m pretty sure.
For Helmut Marko, Max Verstappen is a bit above Charles Leclerc, do you agree?
I have great respect for Helmut Marko [responsable de la filière jeune chez RedBull] and his assessment is quite understandable as he talks about his pilot. I followed the whole development of Charles because my son was at the Ferrari Academy when he was in F3. In addition to his performance, Charles has class and I love him. I think this year could be his year. They get to fight Max during every episode of the season and it’s magnificent. They are a sublime generation and true ambassadors for F1.
Do you understand the question of certain historical practitioners, such as Monaco?
The answer is very simple, I would like to see a Grand Prix of France and Monaco for the next 50 years in a row and that they are not questioned. There are new Grand Prix on the way, Miami this year, Las Vegas next year, and the promoters are paying a lot of money. I understand that there is preferential treatment associated with seniority, but there are too many differences between a circuit like Monaco and Miami. There are too many differences in the price of the set and that is what the discussions are about. At the same time, if you in the same restaurant pay 30 euros for your steak and I pay 150 euros for it, of course I will not be happy when I see the bill.