Red Bull admits championship contender Charles Leclerc’s victory in Austria was a “surprise”.

Red Bull recognizes the victory of the contender for the championship Charles Leclerc came to Austria as a “surprise”.

“I expected them to be strong,” said the championship leader Max Verstappen. “I just didn’t expect them to be this good.”

Carlos SainzHowever, the failure of the fire engine was an unpleasant surprise Ferrariindicating that reliability remains an issue despite Leclerc closing the points gap to 38 points.

Doctor Helmut Marco said Verstappen, who finished second at Red Bull’s home track in Spielberg, managing to earn an extra point for fastest lap to be “the best possible damage control”.

Leclerc says Ferrari always had the pace to challenge the Red Bulls.

“Apart from Miami, maybe where we were a little bit lower compared to Red Bull, he’s been strong in the last five races,” said the Monaco-born driver.

“We just couldn’t put it all together. So yeah, it’s great to finally have a normal race on my side.”

However, Marko says Sunday’s result “came as a surprise”.

“We had a serious tire degradation that we cannot explain,” said a senior Red Bull official in Austria. “Our pace and wear on the last set of tires was even more amazing.

“I hope we can resolve it, but at least we’ve limited the damage. Ferrari and we are more or less on the same level all year round. It’s about the little things.

“So we’re not worried. It’s not like we’re going to lose the championship all of a sudden,” the 79-year-old said.

As for the failure of Silverstone winner Sainz at Ferrari, the team boss Mattia Binotto believes that “very likely” it was the same problem as Leclerc in Baku.

“Of course, we are worried,” admitted the Italian. “But we are working on solutions that we hope to bring to the track soon.”

Marco, meanwhile, criticized Sergio Perez for his contact with Mercedes George Russell.

“Before the start, we emphasized that there should be no overtaking on the outside of Turn 4,” Marko told Sky Deutschland.

“It was completely unnecessary.”

Mercedes in general continues to improve, p Lewis Hamilton securing another podium.

“We are three tenths short,” said the team boss Toto Wolff. “We’re going to continue to beat that with every race.”

Finally, while Formula 1 as a whole has criticized the behavior of some of Verstappen’s Dutch fans over the weekend, Wolff said criticism needs to be channeled carefully.

“We have to be very careful not to put the sport we love in a corner and say it’s all racism or sexism, because it’s not,” he said.

CEO of F1 Stefano Domenicali agreed: “All three fans applauded.

“It shows that drivers are getting the respect they deserve.”

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