Charles Leclerc admits he needed his victory in the Austrian Grand Prix after a run of races where he has seen wins slip away through bad luck.
The Ferrari driver was leading in Barcelona and Azerbaijan when he suffered power unit problems and retired from both races, while strategic errors from Ferrari cost him wins while leading in both Monaco and Silverstone. However, Leclerc finally took his first win since Australia with an impressive drive at the Red Bull Ring, and he says it’s a welcome relief.
“I definitely needed it,” Leclerc said. “Of course whenever I get to a new race, since five races (ago) I have a smile on my face and I kept being optimistic but obviously hard races after hard races it felt like everything was against me. Finally we had a breakthrough, a good race today. and it feels great to have the win again.”
The race was not completely straightforward for Leclerc despite him having better pace than Max Verstappen and overtaking him on three occasions, as he complained about a sticking throttle in the latter stages.
A hat-trick of overtakes for Charles Leclerc 💪#AustrianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/coLQbKutuP
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 10, 2022
“Not only a little bit stressful — very stressful! The throttle was very inconsistent and in the middle of a corner it would get stuck a bit stuck to whatever percentage,” he explained.
“In Turn 3 it was very tricky, as that’s where you don’t want any more mid-speed corner. It was quite tricky to manage — not so much in the high speed, mostly in the slow speed — but at the end we managed to get the car to the end, which is great.”
However, with teammate Carlos Sainz retiring when set to attack Verstappen for second place, Leclerc says Ferrari still have reliability issues to sort.
“It is definitely a concern, so we need to look into that and make sure it doesn’t happen. It happened twice on my side in the last five races and now Carlos again. We need to get on top of this as quickly as possible.”