F1: Unlucky Charles Leclerc limps to P11 finish at Austrian Grand Prix

Austrian Grand Prix charles leclerc

Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc has finished the Austrian Grand Prix in a sorry 11th place, having been the unlucky victim of an incident involving McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez on Turn 1 of Lap 1.  

It was another “weekend to forget” for the 26-year-old Scuderia Ferrari driver from Monaco, who suffered the brunt of a collision between Piastri and Pérez as the grid took off from the Red Bull Ring start line in Spielberg. Leclerc was squeezed between the other two drivers and was forced to immediately pit to replace a damaged front wing. 

Unfortunately, that Lap 1 incident spelled the end for Leclerc’s hopes of advancing from his initial P6 position despite his pace matching that of his teammate, Carlos Sainz, who secured himself a place on the podium at the Austrian Grand Prix, coming in P3 and picking up 15 important points.

Leclerc’s disappointment was palpable in his post-race comments.  

“Unfortunately, this was a weekend to forget as nothing went as it should,” he shared. “The collision on the opening lap obviously completely ruined my race. We were hoping for a Safety Car but it didn’t come and I lost time behind Lando (Norris) when I had fresh tyres and could have pushed more. The end result was that we couldn’t even score a point.” 

The race on Sunday 30th June was ultimately won by Mercedes’ George Russell. He was able to capitalise on a late collision between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris that occurred during Lap 64 of 71. P2 was claimed by Piastri ahead of Sainz in third place. Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes came in P4 while Verstappen clawed his way back from a puncture to take P5.  

In the Sprint race on Saturday 29th June, Leclerc secured two points by finishing in seventh. Sainz came in P5, earning the team a further four points. 

“Apart from Carlos’ podium, which brings us a good points haul in the Constructors’ [Standings], the only other positive aspect of the weekend is that we were able to try various set-up configurations, producing plenty of data for the team, which will be very important for the upcoming races,” added Leclerc. “We will immediately start working hard with the aim of putting this race behind us, right from next weekend at Silverstone.” 

Read related:

F1: Charles Leclerc brings home the win at the Monaco Grand Prix


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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre