Some shocking driver transfers took place in the aftermath of the Austrian Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc won the race ahead of Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton.
Sergio Perez had retired from the race early on after contact with Mercedes’ George Russell caused too much damage to the Mexican’s car, leaving Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to hunt down Max Verstappen.
The Monegasque cleared the sole remaining Red Bull for the lead, before Verstappen pitted for fresh Hards.
Both Ferraris stayed out on track much longer, and were both on significantly fresher tyres as Leclerc once more hunted Verstappen for the lead, passing him for a second time.
The Dutchman came back into the pit lane to put more fresh tyres on, so Ferrari mirrored that and Leclerc passed him for a third time.
It looked as though Sainz was about to do the same, before he suffered a massive failure in his engine, and he had to jump out to escape the huge fire that was developing in the back of his F1-75.
Leclerc held off Verstappen after they both pitted under the subsequent Virtual Safety Car, and he claimed his fifth victory in Formula 1 – his third of the season.
Hamilton took advantage of Sainz’s retirement to take his third consecutive podium, but the graphics as the drivers stood for the anthems told a different story.
Perez was shown as the race winner for Ferrari, while Carlos Sainz got the Red Bull seat he had previously dreamed of by finishing second.
Hamilton’s name was replaced by Verstappen’s, in what would be a sensational move if the world champion headed to the Silver Arrows.
Leclerc’s win moves him above Perez and into second in the Drivers’ Standings, 38 points behind Verstappen.
Ferrari have also cut Red Bull’s advantage in the constructors’ battle to 56 points after taking two wins in a row for the first time since 2019 after Sainz took victory in Silverstone the weekend previous.