Scuderia Ferrari leaves Austria with a second and fourth place courtesy of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, which came at the end of a great race that was closely fought right from the start to the end of the 71 laps.
Charles got a perfect getaway to keep the lead, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian also shot off the line and by the end of the opening lap he’d already made up three places to cross the line sixth behind Raikkonen and Norris. Sebastian pursued the English McLaren driver and got past on lap 4, then two laps later he also dealt with the Finn in the Alfa Romeo.
At the halfway point, when all the leaders had pitted for the first time, Charles had a five second lead over Bottas, with Vettel closing fast on Verstappen and Hamilton. On the hard tyres, the Dutch Red Bull driver was lapping faster than Sebastian and caught the number 5 SF90 on lap 49, getting ahead one lap later. The team reacted immediately, switching Vettel to a more aggressive two stop strategy. Sebastian set off on Soft tyres, seven seconds behind Hamilton.
On lap 56, Verstappen caught Bottas, passed him and set off in pursuit of Charles, with fresher Hard tyres. The Dutchman caught Leclerc with six laps to go. On lap 68, he passed Charles at Turn 3, but the Ferrari man made the most of the SF90s good traction to retake the lead on the next straight. One lap later, Verstappen attacked again at the same place, but collided with Charles, which forced him to run wide. At the same time, Sebastian caught Hamilton and passed him a lap later. Verstappen took the flag 2.7 seconds ahead of the Ferrari man.
Charles Leclerc #16
“It was a positive weekend overall. Unfortunately, it did not end as we would have liked it to. My first stint was good and our pace was there. We pitted early to prevent losing our track position to Bottas. This made the second stint longer and more challenging than expected, as the rear tyres degraded quite a bit towards the end of the race. Second place is not what we wanted, but we gave it our all and made good a step forward this weekend. I am conviced that this will bring further progress for the next few races and allow us to achieve the success that we want.” – the Monegasque driver explained at the end of the race.