Leclerc's Styrian GP charge "one of my best performances" in F1

Charles Leclerc said his charge from near the back of field to finish seventh in the Styrian Grand Prix was one of his best showings in Formula 1.

Leclerc's Styrian GP charge "one of my best performances" in F1

The Ferrari driver had to pit early at the Red Bull Ring after damaging his front wing in a brush with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly on the run out of the first corner.

He dropped all the way down to 17th on the road, before pulling off a series of overtaking moves to battle his way up to seventh, one place behind teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.

Buoyed by the race pace of his car, just one week from the nightmare his team suffered in France, Leclerc felt the afternoon at the Red Bull had shown something special.

“If we look at the first lap, it's been an incredible race for us,” he told Sky F1. “We've been incredibly quick, but obviously this first lap basically stopped us from doing something much, much, much better today.

“It was a big opportunity. The pace was incredible. It's probably one of my best performances in Formula 1 today, apart from the lap one.”

Leclerc said the pace over the race in Austria was hugely encouraging because of the way that Ferrari has struggled on Sundays so far this year. It also bodes well for a repeat performance next week at the same track.

“I'm really looking forward to next weekend obviously,” he added. “Today it was really, really special. I mean, it's been a long time that we had this type of race pace. It was good to see.”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Leclerc added he was unsure who was to blame for the clash with Gasly, as the slight brush between them caused a puncture that eventually put his AlphaTauri rival out of the race.

“To be honest, I need to re-watch the images from outside,” explained Leclerc. “I have no idea whether Pierre went a little bit to the left and I went a little bit to the right at the same time. I guess it's a bit of both. And at the end, we touched.”

Leclerc’s teammate Sainz was equally happy with his climb from 12th to sixth, but reckoned he could have finished higher up if he had not lost time being stuck behind a slow Lewis Hamilton who had lapped him earlier.

“It was a very good day in the office,” he said. “We managed to have a very strong first stint on the mediums, overcut pretty much the whole midfield with really good pace.

"Then a very weird scenario, no? I was on very fresh hards, I had Lando in front that I knew I could catch with clean air, but suddenly I found myself behind Lewis.

“I doubted for five, 10 laps, whether to follow him and to try to catch Lando. Suddenly I realised that Lewis was struggling with the tyres, I was much quicker and I had to unlap myself.

“But by the time I unlapped myself, it was too late to go and catch Lando.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: ‘Impossible’ to keep up with Verstappen in ‘lonely’ Styrian GP

Previous article

Hamilton: ‘Impossible’ to keep up with Verstappen in ‘lonely’ Styrian GP

Next article

Wolff: Title race isn’t over despite end to Mercedes development

Wolff: Title race isn’t over despite end to Mercedes development
Load comments
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021