Charles Leclerc hailed his second place in an exciting Austrian Grand Prix as “like a win”, but again issued warnings about Ferrari’s lack of performance.
In a race littered with mechanical retreats and three periods of safety cars on the Red Bull Ring, Leclerc managed to stay out of trouble, while his SF1000 was ultimately reliable.
A five-second penalty for Lewis Hamilton for causing a collision with Alex Albon helped promote Leclerc third to second in the checkered flag, for which he was naturally very grateful given Ferrari’s problems with his car this season. .
“I am extremely happy, to be honest. It looks like a victory,” exclaimed Leclerc, who was also second in last season’s race in Austria.
“We have fought since the beginning of the weekend. We had luck in the race with various safety cars, accidents, penalties and in the end we stayed on the track.
“I gave my best and, yes, I think we managed the race perfectly with the package we have for the moment, and to have a second place, with the performances we had for the whole weekend is something that I never expected .
“We got the best of it, and I’m extremely happy with our result, but performance isn’t where we want to be.”
“And it wasn’t easy because in the first part of the race, it was actually quite boring for us, but I really pushed to stay focused. We were having a good lap time, getting the most out of the car, and in the end it was it paid off, so it was great. ”
Without updates on the car until the third race in Hungary, another battle of attrition will take place next weekend for Leclerc and Ferrari, given the F1 that will race in the same Austrian venue.
Asked if the car’s race performance was better than in qualifying, Leclerc said: “No, unfortunately not. We are fast behind the corners, but we have struggled. We will have a new package in Hungary to try to solve this problem a little more, but we’ll see.
“Today was a very difficult race, struggling to overcome, but every time someone made a mistake, I was very aggressive in trying to seize the opportunity and I am very happy to be P2 again.”
Before you go …
Albon gutted on Hamilton’s collision: “I gave him all the space I could”
Lando Norris on the podium: “I thought I had it!”