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The Latest: Slim hopes of a local winner at the Monaco GP

By The News · 29 of May 2019 05:38:25
AP Photo,, No available, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco gestures during an autographs session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Friday, May 24, 2019. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MONACO (AP) — The Latest on motorsport’s busiest day (all times local):

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1:10 p.m.

From his giant hilltop palace perched over the streets of the tiny Principality’s winding streets, Prince Albert has seen many races at the Monaco Grand Prix.

But he’s never seen anyone from Monaco actually winning.

The last — and only time — the Monaco national anthem celebrated a home driver was when Monegasque driver Louis Chiron won in 1931.

Prince Rainier III, Albert’s father and husband to the American actress Grace Kelly, was only a young boy when Chiron won.

Hopes are high that Charles Leclerc can become the second driver from Monaco to win the race, and Albert has a close bond with Leclerc.

But the 21-year-old Ferrari driver may have to wait until next year because he is starting from way back in 15th place on the grid after his team botched qualifying on Saturday.

Monaco is famed for its glittering casino, however, and Leclerc is prepared to gamble to have a chance of winning.

He says: “I’ll have to take a lot of risks I think, even risking to crash.”

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1:05 a.m.

One of the busiest days in motorsports will get underway on the French Riviera.

Formula One kicks it all off with the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, when the dominant Mercedes team will look for a sixth straight win this season.

The Silver Arrows are well placed to do so with defending F1 champion Lewis Hamilton on pole position and teammate Valtteri Bottas second on the grid.

Ferrari is struggling — again — with Sebastian Vettel starting from fourth and Charles Leclerc down in 16th after a baffling strategical team error during qualifying.

Simon Pagenaud starts from the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in a car owned by Roger Penske, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first race at Indy.

Penske has won the 500 a record 17 times, and has defending race winner Will Power in his stable.

The field is the tightest in Indy 500 history based on qualifying speeds from first to 33rd.

William Byron starts up front at the Coca-Cola 600 after becoming, at 21 years old, the youngest driver to capture the pole for NASCAR’s longest race.

Aric Almirola will start second with defending race champion Kyle Busch in third.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports