Ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Formula One (F1) Grand Prix, a number of F1 drivers took part in a charity football match on Tuesday night,
The Prince of Monaco, Albert II helped organise the event, with tall funds raised to charities that help children around the world.
The match, which takes place every year prior to the Monaco Grand Prix, was hosted at AS Monaco’s Louis II Stadium, and featured a number of stars from both Formula One and the wider sporting world.
The game was a hard-fought battle between Monegasque F1 driver Charles Leclerc’s National Football Team of Drivers and tennis star Novak Djokovic’s Star Team MC, who boasted Prince Albert II in their ranks.
Leclerc’s team was also full of big names from the racing world, with the likes of his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz, Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi, and Alpine driver Pierre Gasly joining their fellow driver on the pitch.
For the charity evening organised by the Star Team for the Children association, drivers and Sport personalities were united, with also the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II ✨
— Automobile Club de Monaco (@ACM_Media) May 23, 2023
The game was a nail-biting affair, with the National Football Team of Drivers emerging as 4-3 winners, after going behind to opposition Star Team MC twice.
However, arguably one of the most memorable moments of the game came from the stands, with the commentators repeatedly referring to Italo-Argentine ex footballer Luisito Campisi as F1 driver Lando Norris.
This gaffe was understood to have been because Norris was expected to play in the match, with Campisi’s player number even matching Norris’ driver number.
The McLaren driver appeared to have dropped out of playing at the last minute, with no time to change Campisi’s shirt or the commentator’s team sheets.
Whilst many were confused by the repeated mentions of Norris’ name with no sign of him on the pitch, Fans were given a good laugh when Campisi scored the National Football Team of Drivers’ first goal but Norris was credited for it instead, especially given the obvious physical differences between the pair.
— leclerc data (@leclercdata) May 23, 2023
Concerns were also raised over potential injuries to the F1 drivers, with Charles Leclerc being fouled within the first 90 seconds of the game.
Images were also surfacing appearing to show his teammate Carlos Sainz with a bandage around his thigh at half time.
"what if we put a football match with the formula 1 drivers days before the monaco gp? what's the worst that could happen?" pic.twitter.com/zJfjl0PG9T
— clara (@leclercsletters) May 23, 2023
Despite this, Sainz himself cleared up any rumours of injury affecting his chances at the grand prix this weekend on his Instagram Story.
The driver posted an image of himself playing in the match with the caption “Just to let you know that I am well and completely ready to race this weekend in Monaco”.
— Fastest Pitstop (@FastestPitStop) May 24, 2023
Fans of F1 all around the world will be looking forward to this upcoming weekend of racing, following an unexpected week off as the Emilia-Romagna grand prix was cancelled as a result of devastating floods that continue to impact the local area.
This Grand Prix is an especially important one for Charles Leclerc, as the Monegasque driver will look to make his home race a successful one, following a lacklustre start to the season for Ferrari.
Ferrari are 146 points behind leaders Red Bull in the Constructors Championship and drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc are placed fifth and seventh respectively in the Driver’s Championship.