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Austrian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz frustrated to miss out on podium but Charles Leclerc thanks Ferrari team-mate

Carlos Sainz finished sixth at the Austrian GP after being penalised for track limit infringements; he was not happy to originally finish 16 seconds behind Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc, who finished second; Watch the British GP live on Sky Sports F1 from July 7-9.

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Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and Red Bull driver Sergio Perez indulge in a cat-and-mouse chase for P3

Carlos Sainz has admitted he was "frustrated" with Ferrari's strategy at the Austrian Grand Prix, having been on the tail of Charles Leclerc early in the race.

Sainz was asking Ferrari for team orders as he stayed within DRS range of Leclerc during the opening laps, but was denied the opportunity to be allowed through.

He was forced to double stack when both drivers came in during the virtual safety car and received a five-second time penalty for track limits.

The Spaniard had an exciting battle with Sergio Perez for third place, but couldn't hold off the Red Bull driver and originally crossed the line in fourth. However, he received a 10-second time penalty for exceeding track limits too many times during the race, so was classified sixth.

"The gap went from four tenths because I was on his [Leclerc's] gearbox, to six or seven seconds and three positions lost in that first pit stop," Sainz explained to Sky Sports F1.

"I feel I played the team game, staying behind and to be penalised in the way I was with the pit stop, losing a lot of time and losing the three positions and six seconds with the VSC ending, when we could have done something differently frustrated me.

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Ferrari racing driver Carlos Sainz reflects on his P4 finish at the Austrian Grand Prix

"I lost a lot of time trying to recover, which I did pretty quickly. The gap and the time I got the [penalty for] track limits and from there my race was quite compromised.

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"When the VSC came out I was in the middle of Turn Nine and I wasn't committed to pit entry so it was the right call to stay out. Was it the right call to come in the next lap when the VSC was ending is what we need to analyse.

"I don't want to say that I am owed. I do the best job I can, I'm in a very good moment, I'm driving very well and very fast each weekend. Doing some good overtaking and defending today and that's why I'm frustrated by the result."

Team principal Frederic Vasseur added: "We were safe with Charles to Perez. It was not a big issue. At the beginning, we decided our interest for the team was to pull away from P4 and P5, and to not attack ourselves.

"When you are behind, you are much faster with DRS and we didn't want to swap every two laps. This was the strategy."

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were nose to tail during the early parts of the Austrian GP
Image: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were nose to tail during the early parts of the Austrian GP

Leclerc: Sainz made my life a bit easier

Leclerc, who jumps ahead of George Russell for sixth in the drivers' championship, originally finished 16 seconds ahead of Sainz at the chequered flag.

The Monegasque driver revealed he was watching his team-mate battle with Perez.

"Carlos did a great job for that. I was aware Checo was coming, I didn't know how quickly he will pass Carlos, so I was trying to manage the hards to push whenever he was getting in front of Carlos," said Leclerc.

"But Carlos made my life a bit easier by doing a great defence. I could see all of it on the screen which was quite exciting and that was good."

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After securing Ferrari's 800th podium in F1 at the Austrian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc says that it's good to be back, but insists there is still work to do

Leclerc: Ferrari pushing like I've never seen before

Ferrari brought more upgrades to Spielberg which has seen them clearly ahead of Mercedes and Aston Martin on pace.

Leclerc thinks the car was "more consistent" on Sunday and is interested to see how Ferrari fare at the high speeds of Silverstone next weekend.

"It feels good to be back on the podium, especially after a difficult day yesterday. I had a really good feeling in the car on Friday," he added.

"I think with the new upgrades the feeling is getting there. We were really waiting for this race in order to confirm the good feelings we had on Friday and it worked out.

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Highlights of the Austrian Grand Prix, the tenth race of the season.

"It's no secret we need to work extremely hard to catch Red Bull. They are still quite a lot faster coming race day. But the feeling is better and the team is pushing like I've never seen before in terms of bringing the upgrades much earlier than what was planned and this is great to see.

"I feel like with sprint weekends, it's a bit more unpredictable, less preparation you have. Maybe I was a bit out the window in terms of setup for this race.

"I had the rear stepping out a bit too much and struggling with rear degradation. But on the second and last stints, it was better as I modified my driving, so maybe we left a little bit of performance there."

On his British Grand Prix chances, Leclerc said: "It's a very different track in Silverstone and it's going to be very interesting to see where we are there. I feel like maybe the weakness of the car now is still a little bit in the high-speed corners. At Silverstone, there are a lot of high-speed corners, so it will be good to see if this new package helps."

Next on the F1 calendar is the big one, Silverstone. Don't miss the British GP live on Sky Sports from July 7-9

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