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Leclerc opens up on why he was so confident ahead of Austrian GP

After losing out to Max Verstappen in Saturday's Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was openly confident that he could fight back in Sunday's race. The Ferrari driver has explained why this was the case.

Charles Leclerc has revealed why he was so confident of Ferrari's pace ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. The Monegasque had finished second to Max Verstappen in Saturday's Sprint, though had been cutting into the Red Bull driver's lead in the latter stages of the event. Afterwards, Leclerc stated that he felt he would be able to challenge more in the main race. This turned out to be true, with the Scuderia seeming to display stronger pace than their title rivals on Sunday. Leclerc overtook Verstappen three times en route to victory, his first win since the Australian Grand Prix back in April.

Leclerc reveals reason for confidence

Leclerc's success also followed on from a difficult run of races, during which he had suffered reliability problems as well as being affected by some team strategy issues. However, he seemed confident of what Ferrari could achieve in the Austrian Grand Prix, and he admits that this was influenced by having decent pace at recent weekends, despite not always achieving the best result. "I was quite confident," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com , when asked if his confidence was real or simply bravado. "The pace has been strong in the last five races. Obviously, I had quite often said that on the Saturday night, but not only to say it, I believed in it in all five races. "So it's good to finally show it on a Sunday and [to have] a clean weekend."

Sprint race pace added to Leclerc's hopes

Leclerc's confidence ahead of the race had also been impacted by how quick he had managed to be towards the end of the Sprint. "Speaking about [the Sprint], I think the pace was there, even though at the end of the Sprint it was difficult to know how much Max was pushing," he added. "I had a feeling that we had the upper hand at the end of that Sprint race, so that's why I was confident." The points Leclerc scored over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend have put him back into P2 in the World Championship standings, 38 points behind Verstappen.

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