Charles Leclerc took the chequered flag first on Sunday at the Red Bull Ring, winning his third race of the year and breaking an eight-race win drought. Leclerc started in second on the grid, but quickly overtook Max Verstappen for the race lead. Leclerc never seemed to be in trouble after that, regaining the lead with ease after each of his two stops due to Verstappen struggling with tire degradation and grip around the high-altitude circuit. A sticky throttle pedal made Leclerc’s life harder over the final 10 laps, however he managed to stay ahead of a charging Verstappen to secure the victory.
While Ferrari was cheering for Leclerc’s win, the team missed out on an opportunity to put a major dent into Red Bull’s championship lead. Sergio Perez was forced to retire due to damaged sustained on the first lap (for which George Russell was given a five second penalty), putting Ferrari in line for a 1-2 finish and a 28-point swing in the Constructors Championship. Carlos Sainz’ engine blew on lap 58, bringing Ferrari’s best laid plans to a fiery end. This is the fourth mechanical DNF for Ferrari this year, raising serious concerns about the ability of the prancing horses to compete with Red Bull deep into the season.
There were great battles all throughout the midfield as Haas, McLaren, and Alpine fought to round out the top 10. The winner of the day was Mick Schumacher. The second-year Haas driver had his best race weekend by far, holding off Lewis Hamilton for 8 laps in the sprint race on Saturday, and gaining 3 places on Sunday for a career-high 6th place finish. Schumacher’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, secured a great result for the American team, finishing eighth, splitting the two McLarens. Fernando Alonso recovered from a disappointing DNS on Saturday, coming from 19th on the grid to score a point for 10th place.
1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
4. George Russell (Mercedes)
5. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
6. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
7. Lando Norris (McLaren)
8. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
9. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
10. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
11. Valteri Bottas (Alpha Romeo)
12. Alex Albon (Williams)
13. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
14. Zhou Guanyu (Alpha Romeo)
15. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
16. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
17. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
DNF- Carlos Sainz, Nicholas Latifi, Sergio Perez