Leclerc enjoys 'perfect' race after unexpected P2 in Austria

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Charles Leclerc considered his drive to second place as the "perfect race" at the Austrian Grand Prix.

After a miserable weekend for Ferrari, their pace on Sunday was at least competitive against the upper midfield, with the Monegasque gradually moved up through the field.

Two key passes on Lando Norris and Sergio Perez late on would put Leclerc in third, which became second when Lewis Hamilton picked up a five-second penalty for colliding with Alex Albon.

Paving the way for Charles to produce a result the Italian team could have only dreamed of at the start.

"I'm extremely happy, it feels like a victory today," Leclerc told Sky Sports' Jenson Button on the grid.

"A nice surprise but a good one. I think we did everything perfect today to be honest to finish second.

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"We had a little bit of luck, obviously, with Lewis's penalty. Some crashes here and there and that was a goal to take every opportunity we had even though we didn't have the pace to finish where we were I think.

"P2, I am extremely satisfied and there's still a lot of work to do," he added. "We are still far away and we are not where we want to be, but anything is possible.

"So we need to keep the mentally strong, all the team works as a team and I'm pretty sure we'll come very well, it will take time."

It was after losing a victory last year to Max Verstappen in Spielberg that Leclerc released a more aggressive side to his driving style.

And the 22-year-old admits it came in useful as he went all-out for the best finish.

"I wanted to be very aggressive because after every safety car I was struggling at Turn 1 to Turn 3, I knew there was no opportunity for me here," he explained.

"But I knew that my opportunity will come if someone will do a mistake and Lando slowed down a little bit with Sergio and I went for it, and the other one with Sergio was pretty tough but I enjoyed it.

"I would rate this as one of my best races since I arrived in F1 because I didn't do any mistakes," he concluded.