The Monaco ‘curse’ continues, as native Charles Leclerc – who has been setting the 2022 F1 calendar on fire this season – crashes yet again on his home turf, this time in a vintage Formula 1 car.
In the leading weekend to this Sunday’s upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, someone up top at Scuderia Ferrari decided to hand over the keys of the 1974 Ferrari 312 B3 to Leclerc.
Everything seemed fine in the beginning, with Leclerc swerving through the historic circuit of Monaco, pulling off clean laps in a car nearly twice his age.
It was a bit later on, after completing a series of demonstration laps, when things took a turn for the worst. As Leclerc approached the notorious turn 17 – also called ‘La Rascasse’ after the iconic Monaco nightclub – his brakes seemed to have failed, swerving the car into a slow ‘handbrake 180’ of sorts, smashing the rear end into the walls.
Ouch! The Monegasque driver quickly tweeted out a confirmation and reaction on Twitter, venting his frustration at crashing an iconic Ferrari vintage:
Naturally, this led to a flurry of humorous tweets and jokes – many of which brought up Leclerc’s previous crashes on home turf:
That said, we’re pretty sure that despite the onslaught of memes, the incident wasn’t really Leclerc’s fault. (Sure, I’m a fan. What about it?)
On closer inspection, F1 enthusiasts discovered that the brake failure was caused by a faulty set of front brake discs, which snapped and left Leclerc with no option but to crash on the tight hairpin turn. Speaking to former F1 driver Jacky Ickx, who was also on track demonstrating a slightly older 1972 Ferrari 312 B2 he drove in, Leclerc explained that he completely lost the brakes on entry – no wonder, since they literally snapped off the car.
This, in fact, is the second bad year in a row for the 312 B3, which DNF’d in the hands of ex-racer Jean Alesi.
The 1970s were already notorious for safety standards – so it’s perhaps fortunate that Leclerc crashed (again) at Monaco, where circuit speeds are relatively lower. After smashing the rear wing more-or-less off its hinges, Leclerc inspected the car, then sheepishly drove off into the pits.
Hopefully, this isn’t a taste of things to come for Leclerc, who has so far pulled off a miracle season for Ferrari. The 24-year-old will soon come to race at Monaco once again this month, on May 29.
Charles will continue to defend his championship lead at the Spanish GP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, this Sunday.
(Featured Image Credits: Formula 1, FIA)