With one car in the top ten and one outside in twelfth, Scuderia Ferrari were confident about the race pace of the SF21 in the first of two races at the Red Bull Ring.
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Photos: Scuderia Ferrari.
Unfortunately, it was a poor start off the grid for Charles, as contact with Pierre Gasly on the first lap damaged his front wing, calling for a pitstop at the end of the lap. Carlos lingered outside the points in eleventh, jostling with Sebastian Vettel over the position on the opening laps.
After the first lap chaos, Carlos was able to make a position up into tenth, setting after the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda. Throughout the next ten laps, both Carlos and Tsunoda caught the Williams of George Russell, running in eighth place.
Charles had made his way up to 15th, past both Haas cars and Nicolas Latifi, who was also caught in the first lap incident. A bold move on Esteban Ocon at turn four moved the Monegasque into 14h place.
Upfront, Max Verstappen led from pole, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez, the Mexican finding a way past Lando Norris early in the race.
Leclerc pitted for a new set of medium compound tyres on lap 38, as Carlos went long into his first tyre stint to get him up to fifth position before his only stop on lap 42, re-joining the race on a set of hard compound tyres and in seventh position.
Charles was lucky to get away without a puncture after overtaking Kimi Raikkonen for 12th place, briefly touching the front wing of the Alfa Romeo in the process. Carlos jumped into sixth, taking advantage of the fresh tyres to move ahead of Lance Stroll.
By lap 50, Leclerc had got himself back into the points in tenth, as he overtook Sebastian Vettel for the final points position.
On lap 54, Charles had gotten up to ninth at the expense of Tsunoda, moving further into the points. He then claimed eighth from Fernando Alonso on the following lap, and set after Stroll’s seventh place.
With just over ten laps to go, Charles made the move for seventh, getting past Stroll at turn three. Now only his teammate ahead of him in sixth, Charles made a great recovery from the poor start at the beginning of the race.
At the chequered flag, Max Verstappen took the win from Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, while Carlos and Charles came home in sixth and seventh, good points for the team and a great comeback for both drivers.
Written by Cóilín Higgins.