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Leclerc optimism after claiming Ferrari’s 800th podium

Charles Leclerc praised his Ferrari team and offered some rare optimism on Sunday after securing the team’s 800th podium finish when he came second behind Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix.

After a frustrating run of disappointing results, the Monegasque driver bounced back and admitted he revels in the challenges of the Red Bull Ring circuit and Silverstone, which hosts next weekend’s British Grand Prix.

“The upgrades that we brought in have made me feel better and it’s looking good for the future,” he explained.

“I think we maximised what we had on Friday and again today.

“Yesterday, it was more me – that I was off the pace, but today it is good to be back on the podium. I think the team did an excellent job to bring the upgrades earlier, but obviously there’s still a lot of work to do as Max and Checo (Perez) have a lot of pace.”

Sergio Perez, in the second Red Bull car, came home third after starting 15th on the grid, his bid to finish second foiled by a prolonged battle with Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari who finished fourth.

“We were struggling quite a lot at trying to get track position,” added Leclerc.

“Even though we knew, on the long term, we wont be able to keep Max behind, with the pace he has, I tried. It wasn’t enough, but its good to be back on the podium as the last few races have been a bit more difficult.

“Austria and the British Grand Prix together, these are my favourite two tracks. At Silverstone, we always have great results so hopefully we can take advantage of the upgrades on the car and we can challenge the Red Bulls.”

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