At the end of a race marked by the terrible exit from the track by Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), the Monegasque driver saw his teammate Carlos Sainz win his first victory in F1, when he seemed the strongest to win.
Contrary feelings for the Scuderia Ferrari. On the one hand, this first career victory for Carlos Sainz. On the other, this immense disappointment for Charles Leclerc, once again able to win, but forced to settle for a meager fourth place.
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Despite a damaged wing following a collision with Sergio Perez (Red Bull) at the start of the race, Charles Leclerc maintained a high pace throughout the Grand Prix.
Guanyu Zhou escapes unscathed
In the lead beyond halfway after a hectic (Zhou’s accident caused a red flag), the Monegasque suffered (again) from the strategy of Scuderia Ferrari, which decided to leave him on the track during the passage of the safety car on the 41st lap, unlike Carlos Sainz, who returned to the pits.
With more worn tires than his opponents (Sainz, Perez, Hamilton), Leclerc showed admirable courage and masterful driving to resist, offering the public a magnificent mano to mano with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).
Max Verstappen still in the lead
But it was mission impossible (a nod to Tom Cruise, present in the Mercedes stand to attend the Grand Prix) for Charles Leclerc, finally at the foot of the podium, behind the Sainz-Perez-Hamilton trio.
His feeling after the race? Frustration, as too often this season. “We could stop at the time of the safety car, but I was asked to stay on the track…, he breathed on arrival, his face scarred. Honestly ? I am very, very, very disappointed. »
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In the world championship, despite his seventh place (consequence of a puncture during the race), Max Verstappen (181 points) still comfortably occupies first place, ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez (147 points) and Charles Leclerc (138 points), who sees Carlos Sainz (127 points) back in his mirrors.
Next meeting, next weekend in Austria, on the Spielberg circuit.