Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Leclerc drove “one of my best races” for second place

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Charles Leclerc said his drive to second place in yesterday’s Austrian Grand Prix was one of the best performance of his F1 career so far.

“I would rate this one probably is one of my best races since I arrived in Formula 1,” said Leclerc, who rose from seventh on the grid to claim an unexpected podium finish for Ferrari.

“I really didn’t do many mistakes,” he said. “So I’m extremely happy with the performance. Also with the strategy, with our choices.

“It [wasn’t] easy because in the first part, the race was actually pretty boring for us. But I really pushed to stay focussed and we were doing some quite good lap times. I think we were extracting the maximum out of the car and it paid off at the end, so that was great.”

Leclerc took advantage of the opportunity to fit fresh tyres late in the race to move up the order, passing Lando Norris and Sergio Perez on the way.

“Towards the end of the race it was very tricky because Lando had the new tyres too and I was struggling a lot at the restarts to stay behind them until turn four. Then in all the high speed [corners] we were very quick, but in the whole first sector, we were struggling a lot.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“So I was just waiting for an opportunity which I had when Lando tried to overtake Sergio. But then I think he lost a little bit of time and I just went for it. And then the same way with Sergio a few laps later I saw an opportunity and I just went for it.”

Leclerc admitted he’d been unhappy with his driving, as well as the performance of his car, earlier in the weekend.

“To be honest on Friday I hadn’t been driving well. I was not very happy with the car either but the driving was not where I wanted it to be so I worked quite hard after Friday.

“Then I was quite a lot happier with both the car and my driving on Saturday morning and put everything together in qualifying. So I was happy with this. And then the same for the race pace on Friday afternoon it was pretty bad, actually very bad on my side. And Seb’s one was quite a lot better, so I worked hard.

“But I drove a lot better today. So there’s I think quite a bit on driving from Friday to Saturday, but also on the car so we just put everything together for Saturday.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

10 comments on “Leclerc drove “one of my best races” for second place”

  1. Leclerc really is showing Vettel the way. As frustrating as it might be, I think this season can do a lot of good for Leclerc. He should strive for maximum consistency this year similar to how Alonso did during his time at Ferrari. Just stay there or thereabouts every single race, and when misfortune befalls others or when the car inevitably improves, you will be there to take advantage always. Last season, he dropped quite a lot of points through unforced errors, and this season he can continue to work on his consistency and racecraft without the added pressure of going for pole and the race win every single race.

  2. Well the Ferrari is still faster than the mclarens and the midfield, Perez was on very worn tyres, and the red bulls retired… I mean that’s the expected result tbh

    He’s done more impressive races imo

    1. Kindly supply evidence to back up the claim that Ferrari are faster than McLaren, when almost every pundit has been saying Ferrari have the fifth-fastest car.

    2. I don’t know what were you smoking to think that Ferrari was faster than Mclaren and Racing Point in this race. Perez and Norris were pulling away by 3 or 4 tenths/lap until the first safety car period and Lando’s fastest lap was a 1.07.4 while Charles did a 1.07.9. Simply Leclerc was the better driver passing Norris when he got slightly out of position at turn 3 while battling with Perez and then used his tyre advantage to get past the quicker Racing Point and to close up to Hamilton.

      1. Just look where vettel ended up, not a great ferrari!

  3. One day this drive will be remembered as one of Leclerc’s greatest races. “Remember that time he finished second in a Ferrari that was a second slower than its predecessor?”

    1. More likely, ” remember the time Ferrari disabled its cheat mode but as a result of technical issues at rbr and bad tire strategy by pink point lec was handed the second place.

  4. That Ferrari has no business being in second, but for whatever reason, call it opportunism, brilliance, or luck, Leclerc got it there. He is rightly pleased with his driving.

    Reminds me a lot of Alonso’s performances in 2012. Ferrari produced a dog, usually struggling to make Q3, The lights went out, some stuff happened, then by the end Alonso was somehow on the podium. If Leclerc can do this every week…?

    Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking for me wanting every season to be 2012.

    1. @jackysteeg If you remove Mercedes from the picture, 2020 has a lot of similarities with 2012. Red Bull has become the McLaren, fastest car but poor reliability, Ferrari is Ferrari, Racing Point is Red Bull, McLaren is Lotus etc.

  5. Great, great race. It was pure Alonso-stuff, really. He was behind Norris and Perez for most of the race and out of a sudden he is in 3rd place in a notoriously difficult car.

    And doing it while making Vettel look like an amateur.

Comments are closed.