Charles Leclerc revived his Formula One title challenge by holding on to win the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday for a third victory of the season, while his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz's hopes of a second-place finish ended when his engine blew as he was about to attack Max Verstappen's Red Bull.
Leclerc was clearly stressed in the closing laps as his throttle was not working properly, making it more difficult to control his speed into turns.
“Yes. Come on!” Leclerc screamed on team radio after crossing the line. “I was scared. I was really scared. Yessss!” The Monaco driver held on to beat second-place Verstappen by 1.5 seconds.
“I definitely needed that win, the last five races have been incredibly difficult," Leclerc said. “At the end it was really difficult, I had this problem with the throttle." Verstappen picked up a bonus point for fastest lap to go with the eight points he took by winning Saturday's sprint race. Lewis Hamilton finished third for Mercedes and encouragingly gained a third straight podium place. His teammate George Russell placed fourth.
After cutting out on Lap 58 of 71, Sainz's car was burning and started to slide backward in the gravel as a marshal rushed toward it with a fire extinguisher and urged the Spaniard to jump out. Sainz got out in time as flames were licking his race suit. He was unharmed, sitting on the grass to contemplate his bad luck.
Sainz retires with Ferrari in flames
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz had to retire from the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday with his car erupting in flames.
The Spaniard — who won the British Grand Prix last Sunday which was his maiden Formula One success — pulled off the circuit on lap 58 and onto the safety gravel.
There was a worrying moment when smoke engulfed the car with Sainz still stuck in the cockpit.
But marshals arrived and the Spaniard got out safely.