Charles Leclerc reignited his World Championship hopes by driving to victory as a teammate at the Austrian Grand Prix Carlo Sainz came out of his unscathed Ferrari after it catches fire. Leclerc overtook the leaders Max Verstappen three times to claim his first triumph since crossing the checkered flag in Australia on April 10. Verstappen was second after Sainz’s engine failed with 14 laps to go.
Sainz collapsed on the uphill at Turn 4, but shortly thereafter his car caught fire dramatically. With Sainz still in his cockpit and his car rolling downhill, the Spaniard had to fight gravity as he unbuckled his seat belts and attempted to jump off his burning machine.
TV cameras cropped from focus, but seconds later Sainz was seen walking away from his wreckage while the flames were being put out by marshals. Sainz’s retirement allowed Lewis Hamilton to finish third with his Mercedes teammate George Russell Fourth despite a collision on the first lap with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
At the halfway point in the 2022 season, Verstappen has a 38-point lead over Leclerc in second place, while Perez – who retired from Sunday’s race – is third, a further 19 points adrift. The next race is the weekend of July 22-24 at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the French Grand Prix.
Follow the latest reactions to Sunday’s race at the Austrian Grand Prix:
Sebastian Vettel says his future at Aston Martin will be decided “in the coming weeks”.
Four-time world champion Vettel, who has competed in every season of F1 since his debut in 2007, has only 15 points so far this season and sits 14th to qualify.
With the 35-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of this season – and with a host of non-motor interests in his role as a climate and social justice activist – Vettel’s future in the sport is in doubt, but the Mann himself says his decision will depend on it whether he could fight for race wins in the years to come.
Asked by F1-Insider.com Whether he wanted to stay with Aston Martin beyond 2022, Vettel replied: “The decision is still pending, but I will think about it in the coming weeks.
“Of course it also depends on how the car develops and how much potential I see in the team. I’ve emphasized several times that I want to fight for points, but also for victories. Otherwise the fun is lost.
“So over the next few weeks I’ll have to work with my family to find out how realistic my goals are and how much energy I still have to continue growing with the team.”
Four-time world champion Vettel has only 15 points so far this season and sits 14th in the drivers’ standings
Kieran JacksonJuly 15, 2022 09:23