Charles Leclerc beat Max Verstappen to win the Austrian Grand Prix before returning to the title race

The Ferrari driver had a tough time, having to overtake Red Bull’s Verstappen three times to secure his first podium finish since the Australian Grand Prix in April.

Despite throttle problems towards the end of the race, Leclerc was able to hold on, finishing 1.532 seconds ahead of second place.

The victory put an end to the 24-year-old’s poor form, who had failed to reach the podium in the previous five races.

It also cuts Verstappen’s lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 38 points as the Ferrari driver moves into second place ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez.

After the race, Leclerc stressed how important the victory was to him.

“It was a really good race,” Leclerc said with relief. “The pace was there in the beginning, we had some good fights with Max and the end was incredibly difficult. I had a problem with the throttle and it stuck at 20 or 30% throttle at low speed so it was very difficult but we managed to make it to the end and I’m so, so happy.

“I definitely needed it. I mean, the last five races have been incredibly difficult for me, but obviously for the team, and to finally show that we have speed in the car and that we can do it, it’s incredible, so we need to go to end.”

It could very well have been a Ferrari one-two, but as the end of the race approached, with 14 laps to go, a fire broke out in Carlos Sainz’s car due to an engine failure, causing the race to end prematurely.

“It’s hard to find the right words,” Sainz said. wrote on Twitter. “1-2 was pretty easy, but we had to retire. In both championships, a lot of points were lost, but I feel better and better in the car. Congratulations Charles on the win! We will continue to fight.”

Despite the fact that thousands of Dutch fans returned to him, Verstappen failed to take a third victory in a row at the Red Bull Ring, Leclerc’s speed was too great for him.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been the beneficiary of Sainz’s retirement, moving from fourth to third place.

Despite a hot start to the season, this is the 37-year-old’s third consecutive podium as he improved his starting position from eighth.

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