Lessons Learned from Austria Aided Leclerc’s Run to Silverstone Podium

by Paul Hensby

Charles Leclerc earned his fourth consecutive podium finish in Sunday’s British Grand Prix, with the Monegasque racer revealing that what happened two weeks prior in Austria opened his eyes to just how aggressive he needs to be to fight for position.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver inherited the bottom step of the podium after team-mate Sebastian Vettel hit the back of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen as they fought for third place, but Leclerc had enjoyed his own battle with Verstappen earlier in the race that saw them running side-by-side through the final sequence of turns.

After pitting for a second time when the safety car was on track, Leclerc had lost track position to Vettel, Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, and he was able to fight his way ahead of Gasly before re-gaining the position he started thanks to Vettel and Verstappen’s incident.

Leclerc lost the victory at the Red Bull Ring two weeks ago despite leading for much of the afternoon, with Verstappen catching and passing him with just three laps remaining in a robust move into turn three, and the twenty-one-year-old admitted he learned from his mistakes from Austria as he fought for position at Silverstone.

“It was a good day for me,” insisted Leclerc.  “This was by far the most fun race of my Formula 1 career to date. From inside the cockpit, the duel with Max was really enjoyable and I reckon those watching it at home or at the track also thought it was a good show.

“In a way, I have to say that what happened in Austria allowed me to understand how aggressive I can be in the race and I didn’t hold back. It was also a good fight with Pierre: to overtake him I had to be daring because he was very quick down the straights.”

Leclerc feels Ferrari has some work to do to improve their race pace as neither he nor Vettel were able to keep up with either of the Mercedes AMG Motorsport drivers, who went on to claim an easy one-two at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

“From a technical point of view, I think we need to further improve our race pace and how we manage the tyres, because today we struggled a bit,” admitted Leclerc.

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