F1: Leclerc survives late drama to win Austrian GP

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Ferrari's Charles Leclerc overtook Red Bull's Max Verstappen three times and survived a late scare with his throttle to win Sunday's 2022 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix.

Having convincingly won Saturday's Sprint race, Verstappen started the Grand Prix from pole position, but Leclerc, in second place, appeared to be managing his tyres better and overtook Verstappen for the lead on lap 12.

Verstappen came in for fresh tyres on lap 13, while Leclerc waited until lap 26 to make his first pit stop.

Emerging some four seconds behind Verstappen, Leclerc quickly reeled in his rival on fresher tyres and easily passed the Dutchman on lap 33 to regain the lead.

Verstappen made his second stop on lap 37, and retook the lead when Leclerc did likewise on lap 50.

However, such was his pace on his new rubber that the Monegasque took only three laps to catch and pass Verstappen for a third time to take a lead he would keep to the flag.

Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz had run closely behind the Monegasque all race long, and was catching Verstappen when his engine dramatically blew on lap 57, with flames coming from the back of the F1-75 as the Spaniard pulled off track.

Following Sainz's misfortune, Leclerc soon radioed his team to complain of an issue with his throttle that allowed Verstappen to close to within two seconds of him, but the Monegasque held firm to take Ferrari's second win in a row, following Sainz's victory in last week's British Grand Prix.

"It was a really good race, the pace was there and the end was incredibly difficult with the throttle problem, but we managed to make it stick until the end," said Leclerc, who hadn't won in eight races going into the Austrian Grand Prix.

"Weirdly, my problem was at the same time as Carlos, but I knew it was a pedal problem rather than an engine problem.

"I definitely needed that one. The last five races have been difficult for me and the team and it is great to finally get one."

Behind the top two, Lewis Hamilton finished third for Mercedes for the third race in a row, with teammate George Russell taking fourth.

Esteban Ocon finished a strong fifth for Alpine, with Mick Schumacher an excellent sixth for his second points finish in a row.

Lando Norris took seventh for McLaren, ahead of Schumacher's teammate Kevin Magnussen in eighth.

Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth in the second McLaren, with Ocon's teammate Fernando Alonso rounding out the top ten.

In addition to Sainz, the other drivers who failed to finish were Williams' Nicholas Latifi, and the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, who retired with damage following a Lap 1 tangle with Russell.

At the halfway point in the 2022 F1 World Championship, Verstappen leads the drivers' standings with 208 points. Leclerc sits second with 170 points, while Perez's non-score sees him drop to third with 151.

In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull still lead and now have 359 points. Ferrari stay second with 303, and Mercedes remain third with 237 points.

The next round of the 2022 F1 World Championship is the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard on July 24.

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