CHARLES LECLERC edged out Max Verstappen to clinch victory at this year’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton discusses his experience with race at Formula 1
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Charles Leclerc has insisted that Ferrari will be looking to keep pushing Red Bull all the way after sealing an impressive victory ahead of Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix. The Monegasque driver was simply too quick for the vast majority of the 71-lap contest and managed to hold off his Red Bull rival in spite of a late throttle pedal issue that plagued his efforts during the closing stages of the race.
Leclerc was left audibly frustrated by the problem, which surfaced just after Carlos Sainz was forced to retire due to a power unit failure with only a few laps remaining. The 24-year-old was able to manage the issue enough to hold on to his lead, though, before underlining his desire to continue bringing the fight to Red Bull and Verstappen in the immediate aftermath of proceedings.
“It was a really good race,” said Leclerc in his post-race interview with Sky Sports F1. “The pace was there. At the beginning we had some good fights with Max and the end was incredibly difficult.
“I had this problem with the throttle. It would get stuck at 20 or 30 per cent throttle in the low speeds, so it was very tricky. But we managed to make it stick until the end and I am so, so happy.
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“Weirdly [the throttle issue] was more or less the same time [as Sainz’s retirement], so I had it in my mind. I knew it was not a problem with the engine because it was the pedal that was feeling weird. Luckily it went until the end of the race.
“I definitely needed that one. The last five races have been incredibly difficult for myself but also for the team. To finally show that we’ve got the pace in the car and we can do it is incredible, we need to push until the end.”
Leclerc still finds himself 38 points adrift of Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with the Dutchman having enjoyed the upper hand in terms of pace and results for the duration of the campaign to date. He admitted after Sunday’s race that he was pleased with his second-placed finish, though, given the superiority of Ferrari and the difficulty of managing his tyres around the twists and turns of the fast-paced Red Bull Ring.
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Max Verstappen was forced to settle for a second-placed finish at the Red Bull Ring (Image: EXPRESS)
“It was a tricky day, it seemed like we were struggling a bit with the tyres and that continued on every single compound,” added Verstappen.
“Too much degradation to really attack Charles especially but nevertheless second place is a good result on a difficult day.
“It is great to see so many fans coming here to Austria. Unfortunately I couldn’t give them a win today but second place is still a good result.”
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