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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc aiming to avoid repeat of 'disaster' races

Charles Leclerc has set his sights on avoiding another problematic race after qualifying on the front row for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Leclerc Austria
To news overview © XPB Images

Charles Leclerc is keen to convert his front-row start into a strong result at the Austrian Grand Prix after a run of difficult races.

Since his last victory at the Australian Grand Prix, Leclerc has gone from leading the Drivers' Championship by 34 points, to trailing Red Bull's Max Verstappen by 43.

In that time, driver errors, reliability issues and in-race strategic decisions have been big factors in the points deficit.

Speaking after qualifying on the front row behind Verstappen for the Austrian GP, Leclerc said the aim was to avoid another race of gifting points to the opposition.

"I just want to have a clean race. Obviously it has been five races where it's been a bit of a disaster on my side," said Leclerc.

"So I just hope that everything will go cleanly and that we can finally score the points that we deserve."

Leclerc: Tyre warm-up issues hindered final lap

The final part of qualifying was twice delayed for two separate incidents for Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. After the final red flag, the remaining drivers only had time for one flying lap.

Ferraris teammates Leclerc and Carlos Sainz provisionally locked out the front row, but Vertappen's final lap took pole position by less than one-tenth of a second.

Despite conceding the quality of Verstappen's final lap, Leclerc believed tyre warm-up issues might have hindered his own effort.

"I think all three of us are very close, so it was an exciting qualifying," said Leclerc.

"In the last lap I struggled a little bit to bring the tyres back after such a long time in the pits.

"Max was just a little bit quicker, so congrats to him and hopefully we'll have an exciting race tomorrow."

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