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Charles Leclerc

The special strength Leclerc displayed amid Austrian GP drama

Charles Leclerc stayed cool under pressure when a late-race technical issue threatened to derail his efforts at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc has been praised by Ferrari Driver Coach Jock Clear for managing the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix "very well" amid technical trouble.

Leclerc had built up a comfortable lead when his throttle pedal started sticking to varying degrees, allowing Red Bull rival Max Verstappen to close back in.

Despite the scare, Leclerc kept the situation under control from the cockpit - with advice from his engineer over the radio - to take the chequered flag.

It was a crucial victory for the Monegasque – his third of the season and one that brought an end to a three-month winless run.

Leclerc and Ferrari "living on the edge" in Austria

Clear, who started coaching Leclerc when he stepped up to Ferrari in 2019, feared yet another retirement for his driver after engine-related DNFs in Spain and Azerbaijan.

"Oh my God, oh my God," reacted Clear on the F1 Nation podcast, when asked if he felt nervous towards the end of the race.

"With what we've had in the last four races, you just think, 'What can happen next?' He brought it home, obviously.

"What looked like it could have been a minor issue to start with, you think, 'Okay, this is gonna go one of two ways; we'll just get it home, or it's just going to give up completely.

"Luckily, it made it home, but my God, we're living on the edge, aren't we?"

Leclerc managed his issue "very well"

Having previously applauded Leclerc for his mental strength, Clear underlined the calmness the 24-year-old displayed in dealing with the problem.

"When you've got Verstappen behind you, on the same tyre, closing in, you have to make a judgment on how much you're going to back off, and he managed it very well," added Clear.

"But, of course, there's always in his head, 'Okay, this is what it's doing now, it's clearly something wrong. Is it going to get worse? Or is it going to suddenly stop working?

"It really messes with your head, I imagine. It messed with my head!"

Leclerc is the latest driver on an illustrious list of names to have worked with Clear over the years, including Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

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F1 2022 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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