SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Tipped to reach the very top in Formula One, Charles Leclerc received praise from the highest level back home after clinching his first ever pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday.

In only his second race with Ferrari, Leclerc showed supreme confidence and skill to out-qualify teammate and four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel.

One TV viewer, in particular, was impressed enough to phone Leclerc directly. Prince Albert of Monaco, who first met Leclerc in the royal palace when the driver was 12, gave his heart-felt congratulations, expressed pride in Leclerc, and wished him luck for the race, the Principality’s press department told The Associated Press when contacted for comment.

It’s hard to be more Monegasque than Leclerc, whose apartment

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