What Could Be Expected Of Charles Leclerc At Austria?

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc has truly had a hit or a miss sort of equation with a track and a racing venue that is both sublime given its surroundings as well as tricky to dominate especially considering its the shortest track on the calendar. This is no random speak or hearsay.

The famed Monegasque would remember the Austrian Grand Prix has been an event where back in 2021 he struggled all throughout finding at his disposal perhaps not a rampant machine and just a year down the line, a car with which he emerged triumphant.

As a matter of fact, it could be stated that much like his cool and pleasant persona, the Austrian track layout at Spielberg quite mirrors the famous Ferrari driver. It’s a track that everyone likes to watch and where one hopes to see something special, arguably much like the expectation that Leclerc’s talent courts.

After all, it was here where Charles Leclerc scored what was then just his fourth career podium, fighting for all his life the great Max Verstappen back in 2019. The Ferrari driver, then in his maiden season with the Italian Stallion was prancing with aggression and determination akin to the Prancing Horse legend that is Ferrari.

Who knows, with a bit more pace, Charles would’ve even won at Spielberg that year. But again, it’s also been a track where Leclerc, perhaps rather unexpectedly, found himself beaten by his teammate of the year 2021.

In what was Carlos Sainz’s maiden season in red, the Spaniard, lest it is forgotten, emerged fifth on the grid while Leclerc, who had qualified on P12 for the race, scored an eighth.

But having said that, in the recent light of events for Charles Leclerc, if there’s a track where he would expect himself to perhaps outdo his own self given his most recent results, then it’s arguably Austria.

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix winner is surely itching to bag another race win, his teammate having done so a bit earlier than the Monegasque this year at Australia. But after Ferrari scored a double DNF at Canada, which was a wild and sad result, recovering somewhat with a P5 for Leclerc and a sixth for Sainz at Barcelona, a better race result is expected out of the Italian giant at Spielberg.

However, while Charles Leclerc surely knows a thing or two about the circuit having won his fifth career victory here, his task isn’t going to be any easy. While of the present lot, Max Verstappen is the most successful driver at the venue, the kind of performances that both McLaren, led by Norris’s brilliant form and Mercedes are putting, is going to make things tricky for Ferrari.

On the short straights of Spielberg, will Charles Leclerc and his SF 24 actually be the fastest of the troika including a McLaren and Mercedes. It’s highly debatable. McLaren are doing supremely well even in slow-pace corners. Spielberg, that has just 10 turns, has a few of them. Moreover, the current machine seems a rocketship capable of beating Red Bull, something that was evident last at Miami and very nearly at Catalyunya before Verstappen put all his experience to defeat McLaren and in particular, Norris.

Things are going to get only tricky for Ferrari at Spielberg, the official home of the Red Bull racing team. But again, with his penchant to always come up with a bright and peppy qualifying result and later, saving his tires well enough to often go the long distance, Charles can always be expected to put up a great fight. It’s a track he knows quite well. It’s also a track where he’ll be eager to come up with a special performance.

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