Charles Leclerc blames driving style for poor Austrian GP Sprint showing

In a rare admission, the Ferrari driver was highly critical of his own driving after the 2023 Austrian GP Sprint

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Charles Leclerc admitted his driving style doesn’t suit the kind of changeable conditions that made for a chaotic 2023 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint Race.

The Ferrari driver started ninth after being served a three-place grid penalty for impeding and struggled to make any progress, eventually trailing home in 12th and well out the points.

To make matters worse, his teammate Carlos Sainz was able to take third, showing what the Ferrari car was capable of.

Leclerc finished the wet-dry 24-lap shootout on the mediums and was highly critical of his own performance in the aftermath.

“Eventful but slow,” was Leclerc‘s summary of the Sprint. “In some moments, I’m struggling like crazy. Whenever it’s half dry, half wet with slicks I’m just completely off the pace.

“So we need to understand because now it’s three races in a row that we find ourself in those conditions and I keep struggling.

“I always seem to do something with my driving style that doesn’t help the car that makes me lose confidence and then I’m just really struggling.

“It’s a shame but I’ll work harder than ever in order to be stronger in those conditions as soon as possible.”

Concern for Sunday

Leclerc will line up second for Sunday’s Austrian GP after a strong showing in qualifying and is hoping the conditions are different for the showpiece event of the weekend in the Styrian mountains.

Asked if he was concerned about his chances in the race, Leclerc added: “If it does rain again in those half dry, half wet conditions, yes.

“If it’s full dry or full wet, no, because I know that in those conditions we are strong, and I feel good.

“It’s more in these in-between conditions that we are struggling.”

So, if the weather cooperates, can he fight for his second podium finish of the season?

“Podium, yes. For the win is another story as I expect Red Bull and Max to be stronger, but podium yes,” Leclerc concluded.

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