Austrian GP: Leclerc claims commanding win to revive title hopes


Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc passed title rival Max Verstappen three times on his way to a commanding victory in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz was on course to make it a Ferrari one-two before he suffered an engine failure with 14 laps to go – the latest in a series for Ferrari.

Leclerc faced a tense final 10 laps with a sticking throttle, as Verstappen came back at him, but he held on. Leclerc cut Verstappen’s championship lead to 38 points, to revive his hopes.

And it moves him back ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to second in the standings.

Lewis Hamilton took third for Mercedes after starting eighth for his third podium finish in a row as his season finally begins to come together. Team-mate George Russell followed him home in fourth place.

The end of the race was far tougher for Leclerc than it had looked like being for much of the afternoon as for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix back in April the Ferraris had definitely stronger race pace than Verstappen’s Red Bull.

The Ferrari’s sticking throttle – the accelerator was not returning to zero when Leclerc lifted off – was also affecting the gearbox, as it refused to make some shifts because of the initial problem.

But Leclerc managed the problem well, despite expressing nerves and concern over the radio, to take his first win since Melbourne. (BBC Sport)

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