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2022 Austrian Grand Prix race report and highlights: Leclerc shrugs off reliability scare to overhaul Verstappen for Austrian Grand Prix victory


Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc gained the Austrian Grand Prix over Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton finishing the rostrum for Mercedes – after Carlos Sainz retired.

Leclerc took the lead when the Dash winner and championship chief Verstappen pitted on Lap 12. Leclerc pitted a lot later, on Lap 27, and retook the lead with a cross on Lap 37. With Sainz difficult Verstappen for P2, the Dutchman pitted once more on Lap 37.

Leclerc took his second cease on Lap 51 and retook the lead on Lap 53. With Sainz proper on Verstappen’s tail, the Spaniard instantly slowed – the fireplace on the rear of his Ferrari signalling the tip of his race. That promoted Hamilton, who had battled from P8 to P4, to the ultimate podium place.

Regardless of a late-race scare by which Leclerc reported his throttle pedal to be sticking, making downshifts troublesome and permitting Verstappen to shut to inside 2.3s, he gained for the primary time since Spherical 3 at Melbourne, Verstappen lacking out on a third-straight win on the Purple Bull Ring.

George Russell was a distant fourth having began there, the Mercedes driver shedding time in his first pit cease – a five-second penalty additionally tacked on as he collided with Purple Bull’s Sergio Perez early on. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon rounded out the highest 5 having began sixth, Perez having retired quickly after that Russell collision.

1


Charles
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari
1:24:24.312

25
2


Max
Verstappen
VER
Purple Bull Racing
+1.532s

19
3


Lewis
Hamilton
HAM
Mercedes
+41.217s

15
4


George
Russell
RUS
Mercedes
+58.972s

12
5


Esteban
Ocon
OCO
Alpine
+68.436s

10

Mick Schumacher was the followers’ Driver of the Day, having overtaken each McLaren’s Lando Norris (P7 having served a five-second time penalty for exceeding observe limits) and Haas staff mate Kevin Magnussen in P8. Daniel Ricciardo made it a double factors end for McLaren in P9, each the staff’s drivers having fun with renewed tempo with their medium-hard-hard technique.

Fernando Alonso rounded out the highest 10 from final on the grid for Alpine, having needed to pit thrice – a probably unsafe launch inflicting him to return in twice throughout the Digital Security Automotive brought on by Sainz’s retirement.

Ranging from the pit lane, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas made it as much as P11 at Alex Albon’s expense, the Williams driver having completed twelfth after beginning fifteenth.

Lance Stroll was subsequent within the order, thirteenth for Aston Martin, with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu simply behind in P14. Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda struggled for AlphaTauri, ending fifteenth and sixteenth respectively. Injury picked up early on, nonetheless, left Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel seventeenth following a collision with Gasly for which the Frenchman was penalised.

Sainz was the third retiree, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Perez additionally bowing out, but Ferrari have scored two consecutive victories to pile some strain on championship chief Verstappen forward of the French Grand Prix.

2022 Austrian Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc survives late reliability scare to win on the Purple Bull Ring

Because it occurred

Pre-race theatrics on the Purple Bull Ring – together with parachutists, a jet-engined truck and pilots pushing the boundaries – performed undercard to the best present, 20 drivers going through off for supremacy within the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.

Nineteen drivers lined up on the grid with Valtteri Bottas ranging from the pit lane, pole-sitter and Dash winner Max Verstappen to guide the sphere forward of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – Fernando Alonso final on the grid with a brand new energy unit.

Clouds hovering over the circuit, solar poking out, the formation lap bought below approach with out a hitch – everybody bar Zhou Guanyu, Yuki Tsunoda, Sebastian Vettel and Alonso beginning on medium tyres.

Verstappen scythed throughout the entrance of Leclerc in the beginning, Sainz going broad at Flip 1 however recovering to remain forward of George Russell – on whom Sergio Perez tried a transfer across the outdoors of Flip 4, ran out of room and was tapped into the gravel into final place from the place he pitted with harm to tackle arduous tyres in the beginning of Lap 2.

2022 Austrian Grand Prix: Pérez spins off into the gravel and drops to final after contact with Russell on Lap 1

With Lewis Hamilton taking an excessive amount of of the kerb out of Flip 1 on Lap 4, Mick Schumacher blazed previous for P7 and had eyes on his Haas staff mate up forward. On the very entrance, Leclerc was in DRS vary of Verstappen, Sainz one other 2.5s again and Russell struggling to maintain tempo after his contact with Perez, for which the Briton would obtain a five-second time penalty – the Mercedes main a practice of automobiles as much as Lando Norris in P9.

The Ferrari of Leclerc was menacing within the mirrors of Verstappen, nonetheless trailing the Purple Bull – each having lapped Perez by this level – on Lap 10, when he’d make his transfer and nearly made it into the lead down the within of Flip 3. Leclerc tried once more, switching to the skin of Flip 4, however Verstappen retained P1.

“I can not maintain this lengthy,” stated Verstappen as he started to really feel the warmth. Lap 12, and Leclerc was proper on his tail, braking late into Flip 4 and taking the lead down the within.

Russell took his five-second penalty within the pits on Lap 12, rising final with a brand new nostril and arduous tyres in a sluggish cease, releasing Esteban Ocon into P4.

Verstappen tried to hit again on Lap 13, locking up into Flip 4, and shortly complied with the message to field, pitting for hards on the finish of the lap. The cease wasn’t superb and the reigning champion left the pits in P8. Norris was subsequent to pit, coming in and giving the Dutchman one other place.

2022 Austrian Grand Prix: Leclerc swoops previous Verstappen for the lead on the Purple Bull Ring

A little bit down the order, Hamilton was now on the tempo, executing a surprising transfer on Schumacher for P5 down the within of Flip 7 on Lap 15 and taking the subsequent spot off Magnussen quickly after. The Dane pitted however Schumacher stayed out, the Purple Bull of Verstappen in his mirrors earlier than blasting previous on the run to Flip 3 on the subsequent tour.

Up subsequent for Verstappen was the Mercedes of Hamilton – an important cross needing to be made if he was to problem the Ferraris. The seven-time champion fought off his 2021 title rival initially, however needed to give approach on the run to Flip 4 on Lap 18. The query now was whether or not Verstappen had misplaced an excessive amount of time within the means of taking P3.

Within the lead, Leclerc and Sainz continued to lap previous Lap 20 with Verstappen selecting up the tempo and shutting the hole.

Alonso made it as much as P8 by Lap 20 however let staff mate Ocon, on newer tyres having pitted from P4 on Lap 15, previous him. Ocon battled with Zhou and handed him inside Flip 4 on Lap 23. Alonso, nonetheless, couldn’t make it previous Zhou for P8 and was caught behind him for a variety of laps. That allowed Magnussen to shut the hole on newer tyres and ship it down the within of Flip 1 and set off a five-car battle for place into Flip 3.

In that five-car scrap, Norris additionally loved his tyre benefit (having stopped for hards on Lap 14) to hop into P9 behind Magnussen – Zhou pitting for the beginning of Lap 25 – with Alonso then shedding P10 to Schumacher, who had pitted for tyres on Lap 16. Schumacher pried P8 off Norris – who felt aggrieved that he hadn’t been given sufficient room into Flip 4 throughout that transfer.

Verstappen bearing down, Leclerc pitted and emerged third on Lap 27, seven seconds between him and the Purple Bull, whereas Sainz held a 10-second benefit within the lead earlier than pitting on the next lap to emerge fourth behind Hamilton. That cease for Sainz noticed Verstappen retake the lead.

Hamilton would pit for hards in a cease that lasted 4.1 seconds – to cowl off an undercut from Ocon – and emerge side-by-side with the Frenchman within the battle for P4 on Lap 29. Ocon edged forward however misplaced out to the Briton coming into Flip 3 on the next lap.

Leclerc was pushing, the hole to Verstappen all the way down to 1.5s on Lap 31, and two laps later he had DRS on the Dutchman, chopping down the within and taking the lead again with ease at Flip 3. The reigning champion radioed to say that the automotive was “unpredictable” as he stared down a 1.5 second deficit to the Monegasque – aiming to guard a four-second benefit on Sainz.

Schumacher, in the meantime, continued his sturdy present of tempo, passing Magnussen (who ran broad at Flip 7) on Lap 34 for P6. The Dane would lose one other place to Norris on Lap 42 after which pull in for an additional pit cease. Norris then again had a five-second penalty for transgressing observe limits.

2022 Austrian Grand Prix: Zhou loses out in unbelievable 5 automotive battle with Norris, Alonso, Magnussen and Schumacher

Lap 37 noticed Verstappen bail out with Sainz in his mirrors, the Purple Bull driver pitting from P2 for hards and emerge nicely away from Hamilton. The Dutchman was quickly informed to “simply match Hamilton’s lap instances”, the seven-time champion simply over six seconds behind – Leclerc having fun with the identical benefit over his staff mate Sainz.

Leclerc took his second pit cease on Lap 51, one lap after staff mate Sainz, to launch Verstappen again into the lead – a lead that amounted to only two seconds over the primary Ferrari, and simply seven to the second of Sainz in P3.

Leclerc bore down on the Dutchman and on Lap 53 got here the cross for the lead as he loved a superior exit from Flip 4, main Verstappen to say: “What a joke that traction is.”

Sainz was proper on Verstappen’s tail however on Lap 57, the Ferrari driver slowed and pulled off the observe. Quickly, particles and flames started to pour out of the engine bay and thru the scalloped sidepods of the Scuderia – however Sainz managed to climb out safely.

He sat on a grassy financial institution, his expression conveying equal quantities of frustration and disbelief. That triggered a Digital Security Automotive, Leclerc and Verstappen pitting for mediums with Hamilton now third, having taken a free cease for a set of mediums on Lap 52. Alonso was the opposite taker, pitting simply because the VSC ended on Lap 60.

2022 Austrian Grand Prix: Heartbreak for Sainz as his Ferrari engine blows simply 13 laps from the chequered flag

Leclerc led away as green-flag racing resumed, however complained that his throttle pedal felt “bizarre”, tifosi all over the world struck with pangs of fear. The throttle challenge started to change into clear when Leclerc defined that it was caught, and Verstappen started to chop the hole down because the chief struggled by means of the low-speed sections.

However Leclerc held on and gained his first race because the Australian Grand Prix – albeit by simply 1.5s by the flag. Hamilton accomplished the rostrum, a welcome outcome given his automotive was in items after qualifying.

Russell began fourth and completed there, his sluggish pit cease and five-second penalty stopping him from reaching the podium. He held off Alpine’s Ocon, who accomplished the highest 5 and was the final driver on the lead lap – making a web acquire of 1 place because of Perez’s retirement.

2022 Austrian Grand Prix: Gasly and Vettel make contact at Flip 4 as Vettel spins off into the gravel

Schumacher left Norris, who served a five-second time penalty for observe limits and Magnussen behind to complete sixth and take Driver of the Day honours – a second consecutive factors rating for him – and a double level rating for Haas with Magnussen eighth. It was additionally a double factors rating for McLaren, Norris and Ricciardo’s related medium-hard-hard methods placing them seventh and ninth, respectively.

Alonso, tenth for Alpine regardless of beginning final, pitted throughout the VSC however needed to are available in once more on the next lap, simply because the VSC was ending, for an additional pricey cease – with an unsafe launch investigation to be undertaken by the Stewards.

Bottas missed out on the highest 10, ending eleventh from the pit lane having closed in on Alonso on the finish, he held off Albon by 4.6 seconds, the Williams driver speedy within the straights and retaining Lance Stroll, thirteenth, at bay.

Zhou endured a troublesome day, beginning on hards not like the bulk, and ending 14th. He held off Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri and his staff mate Yuki Tsunoda, who had been sixteenth and seventeenth respectively.

Sebastian Vettel complained that he had harm on his automotive early on, understeer making his job even tougher, and his issues had been compounded on Lap 40 as he was tapped right into a spin whereas making an attempt to cross Gasly across the outdoors of Flip 4. The German ended up seventeenth and final.

Leclerc’s victory maybe offered sufficient jubilation to account for Sainz’s retirement, however Purple Bull will really feel like they misplaced a chance after Verstappen took pole and gained the Dash – with Perez’s Lap 24 retirement costing them much more. Nicholas Latifi didn’t make it to the end line both, his Williams pulled into the pits on Lap 47.

On the dwelling of the Bulls, the Prancing Horse reigned supreme – however who will take the spoils on impartial floor as the sphere heads to France for the subsequent spherical?


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Leclerc gained his first race since Australia and is second within the championship behind Verstappen

Key quote

“It was a very good race,” stated winner Leclerc. “The tempo was there, firstly, we had some good fights with Max and the tip was extremely troublesome. I had this drawback with the throttle and it could get caught at 20 or 30% throttle within the low velocity, so it was very difficult however we managed to make it stick till the tip and I am so, so comfortable.

“I positively wanted that one. I imply, the final 5 races have been extremely troublesome for myself but in addition for the staff clearly, and to lastly present that we have the tempo within the automotive and that we will do it’s unbelievable, so we have to push till the tip.”

What’s subsequent?

Ferrari are on a roll, Purple Bull nonetheless nonetheless within the lead of each championships. Circuit Paul Ricard welcomes the sphere for the 2022 French Grand Prix on July 22-24. Head to the RACE HUB to seek out out extra.

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