Charles Leclerc won the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday. GETTY IMAGES

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc shed tears of joy as he secured victory at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix in front of a jubilant home crowd on Sunday afternoon.

The 26-year-old finally broke his Monaco Grand Prix 'curse' by dominating the 2024 race, leading from start to finish in a non-stop event despite a first-lap red flag. Leclerc became the first in nearly a century to win his home race at the Monaco Grand Prix, the last being Louis Chiron in 1931.

After securing a commanding pole position on Saturday, the Monegasque driver flawlessly navigated the processional 78-lap race on the streets of Monte Carlo. With drivers having changed tyres under the red flag on the first lap, maintaining track position became crucial. As a result, none of the leading drivers made a pit stop. Leclerc controlled the gap at the front, ultimately winning by over seven seconds ahead of McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

After the race, Leclerc, who has gone 39 races without a win since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, admitted in the cooldown room that he began to struggle with his emotions two laps before the finish. He had to talk himself out of getting distracted as his misty eyes started to blur his vision.

During the podium interviews, as he held back tears, Leclerc, who becomes the first Monegasque racer since Louis Chiron in 1931 to secure victory in Monte Carlo, expanded on his emotions. He revealed that he was thinking about his late father, Herve Leclerc, who passed away in 2017 during Charles' Formula 2 campaign. Herve was just 54 years old at the time of his death.

Ecstatic Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc won the Monaco F1 Grand Prix on Sunday. GETTY IMAGES
Ecstatic Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc won the Monaco F1 Grand Prix on Sunday. GETTY IMAGES

Having secured pole position for his home race on two previous occasions, only to have his chances of winning taken away by events beyond his control, Leclerc acknowledged that those difficult experiences contributed to the surge of emotions he felt as he closed in on the elusive home victory.

“It’s such a difficult race,” Leclerc said post-race. I think the fact that, twice, I’ve been starting on pole position and we couldn’t quite make it makes it even better in a way.

“It means a lot, obviously – it’s the race that made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day. It was a difficult race emotionally because, 15 laps before the end, you’re just hoping that nothing happens.

“The emotions were coming already. I have to say I was thinking (about) my dad, a lot more than what I thought while driving. He’s given everything for me to be here. It was a dream of ours for me to race here and to win, so it’s unbelievable.

“I want to thank the team who have done incredible work over the last few months and for giving me the opportunity to finally win this race is a very special feeling," he concluded.