Charles Leclerc on how Austrian GP changed his British GP approach
Silverstone's driver of the day revels in "most fun" F1 experience as he goes wheel-to-wheel - repeatedly - with Max Verstappen
By James Galloway at Silverstone
Last Updated: 14/07/19 9:54pm
Charles Leclerc says the Austrian GP changed his thinking on what was acceptable in F1 after delivering an impressive and combative drive to the podium in the British GP.
Two weeks on from losing out on victory in a wheel-banging clash with Max Verstappen, an overtake upheld by a post-race investigation, Leclerc spent much of Sunday's Silverstone race battling the Dutchman again - and this time gave as good as he got.
The 21-year-olds engaged in several rounds of battles, including making contact at Vale, but stewards took no action against any incident.
"That was definitely the most fun I've ever had in my Formula 1 car," said Leclerc, voted Sunday's driver of the day by fans.
"It's a short career, only one year and a half, but it was very fun inside the car.
"Austria was quite an eye-opener for me to understand how far we could go and what was accepted. I'm very happy to race like this. Every driver wants to race hard and that's what we did for most of the race.
"Always borderline but always within the rules and it was very enjoyable."
Leclerc's amazing race
Leclerc had run ahead of Verstappen in third behind Mercedes' drivers in the race's first stint but by lap 22 was down in sixth after two pit stops in quick succession.
The 21-year-old had pitted on lap 13 for a second set of the medium tyres but, once the Safety Car was called eight laps later for Antonio Giovinazzi's crash, Ferrari pitted Leclerc again to move him on to the hard tyres, meaning he did not have to stop again.
On lap 36, Leclerc passed Red Bull's Pierre Gasly in a brilliant around-the-outside move at Village and then was promoted back into third a lap later when Sebastian Vettel lost control of his Ferrari and slammed into the back of Verstappen, sending both cars into the gravel.
"I was a bit unlucky with the Safety Car but a bit lucky with the crash for Max, unfortunately there was also Seb in it," reflected the 21-year-old.
"Overall I think third was the best we could have done today."
Leclerc's fourth successive podium - the best run of his nascent career - now puts him just three points behind Vettel in the championship after the German scored zero points for the first time in 12 months following his crash.
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