Thursday, December 01, 2022

Leclerc resists Verstappen and wins in Austria

SPIELBERG, Austria ( Associated Press) – Charles Leclerc leveraged his Formula One championship aspirations as he weathered the siege from Max Verstappen by winning the Austrian Grand Prix for his third win of the season on Sunday.

As Leclerc celebrated, the race turned out to be a fiasco for Carlos Sainz, his teammate at Ferrari. Just as Sainz looked about to overtake Verstappen’s Red Bull and take second, the Spaniard’s engine broke.

Leclerc struggled in the final laps because his throttle was not working properly, making it difficult to control his speed through the corners.

“We will!” Leclerc shouted over the radio after crossing the finish line. “I was scared, very scared. Yea!”

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The Monaco driver managed to resist Verstappen’s attacks and beat the Dutchman by 1.5 seconds.

“I really needed this win, the last five were very difficult,” said Leclerc. “The ending was very complicated, I had a problem with the throttle.”

Verstappen scored the bonus point for setting the fastest lap, adding it to the eight he won for winning the sprint on Saturday.

Lewis Hamilton took third with Mercedes for his third consecutive podium. George Russell, with the other Mercedes, was fourth.

For Mexican Sergio Pérez, the experience at the Spielberg circuit was terrible. The Red Bull driver retired on lap 26 as a result of injuries sustained from a contact with Russell on the first lap.

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The retirement of “Checo” Pérez opened the door for Leclerc to displace him from second in the drivers’ championship. Verstappen leads the standings with 208 points, followed by Leclerc (170) and Pérez (151).

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