Leclerc Secures First Win Since Australia at Red Bull’s Home Circuit

There’s something to be said about winning on your competitor’s home ground. That’s exactly what Charles Leclerc did at the Austrian Grand Prix in the Red Bull Ring. Although Verstappen secured pole position and won the sprint race, his RB18 experienced unexpectedly high tyre degradation that allowed Leclerc to comfortably overtake his championship rival. 

While the lead rivals stood on the podium, their teammates DNFed. Perez was involved in a lap one incident with George Russell, while Sainz’s car suffered a mechanical issue that saw it quickly erupt into flames.

The iconic Red Bull Ring was covered in Max Verstappen caps and orange RBR t-shirts, but it was in the mid-field where the action happened. 

Highs and Lows for RBR + Ferrari

One of the biggest stories of the Austrian GP was track limits. There was drama on Friday night when Checo found himself pushed down the order after a post-qualifying reprimand for track limits. 

The Mexican driver excited fans in the grandstands wearing Red Bull t-shirts by fighting back from 13th to 5th during the spring race. An incident with George Russell on lap one ended Checo’s race with the car eventually retiring after a post-incident pit stop. 

With Checo unable to help his teammate, it looked like a double Ferrari podium was certain. Verstappen struggled with unexpected degradation throughout the race after an excellent getaway.

When Sainz closed to gap to Verstappen, his engine unexpected malfunctioned. It was the second F1 race weekend in a row with a dramatic accident, leaving some questioning the speed of the marshals’ response.

Tensions rose on the Ferrari pit wall when Leclerc began complaining of issues. He nursed the car to the finish line just in time as an advancing Verstappen began to close the gap. It was Leclerc’s first win since Australia and an essential one to put his championship battle back on track.

Are you cheering for Leclerc to win the World Championship? Get your Charles Leclerc Ferrari flag in time for the French Grand Prix.

Hamilton Becomes ‘Mr Consistency’

Another team who experienced highs and lows in Austria was Mercedes. Both Mercedes cars crashed out during qualifying but regained ground during the sprint race. Fans who were trackside wearing their neon yellow Hamilton caps were unsure if the British driver would even start the race after a last-minute rush to change the car setup.  

Hamilton was the driver who gained from Red Bull and Ferrari’s misfortune. He took a comfortable 3rd place finish, while Russell fought back through the pack to finish 4th. Hamilton is now the only driver to have finished every race this season. Perhaps it’s time for him to take Russell’s title of ‘Mr Consistency’?

Celebrate his podium with a special edition Lewis Hamilton neon yellow hoodie, released for the British Grand Prix. 

Haas Celebrates Back-to-Back Double Points

The other big story of the Austrian Grand Prix was Mick Schumacher. The Haas driver scored his first points at Silverstone and was in fighting form all weekend. After narrowly missing out on points in the sprint race, Mick finished 6th in the Grand Prix ahead of his teammate in 8th

It was a double celebration as Schumacher was named ‘Driver of the Day’ for the first time. After two weekends of back-to-back points finishes, Haas is now 7th in the constructors, ahead of AlphaTauri.

Elsewhere on the Grid

Both Alpine drivers finished the Grand Prix in the points, with Ocon 5th and Alonso 10th. McLaren got a much-needed boost after a disappointing qualifying and sprint race, with Norris and Ricciardo finishing 7th and 9th, respectively. 

Nicholas Latifi retired from the race, while his Williams teammate narrowly missed out on points with a 12th-place finish. The Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, and Aston Martin drivers finished outside the points.

This weekend is a chance to catch up on all the latest F1 merchandise releases ahead of the French Grand Prix on the 24th of July. We’ll be picking up our ‘Best F1 Drivers of All Time’ series next weekend before the paddock travels to Circuit Paul Ricard.