Charles Leclerc hoping Carlos Sainz will work with him to catch Max Verstappen

Charles Leclerc came through an exciting battle with team-mate Carlos Sainz to finish second in the Austria sprint race.

Charles Leclerc would like to be able to pressure Max Verstappen on Sunday after he finished second in the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race.

The Monegasque initially made a good start in Spielberg, but polesitter Verstappen covered him off going into Turn One, allowing Carlos Sainz to climb up to second.

The Spaniard then tried to pass the reigning champion for the lead, but it did not work out, and his team-mate swooped back in front for P2.

He then became embroiled in a fight with Sainz for second, with the 27-year-old eventually falling back having worn his tyres slightly going for a big move into Turn Three.

READ: Did Francesco ruin Charles Leclerc’s race in Silverstone?

Leclerc then tried to use his Mediums to push against Verstappen’s Softs, but the Red Bull driver comfortably held on to take the win in front of his orange army.

Having shown some strong pace on Saturday, the Monegasque is aiming to make a good start in the race to challenge Verstappen.

“It was tricky,” Leclerc said after the sprint.

READ: ‘It’s a shame’: Charles Leclerc slams fake news about Ferrari following Carlos Sainz’s victory

Article continues below

“Obviously, the first part of the race was all about managing but Max very quick, he was pushing quite a lot at the beginning, so I was just trying to control my tyres to attack at the end.

“Then I had a small fight with Carlos, and yeah towards the end I started to push, I was gaining a little bit, but it was very close overall.

“So, tomorrow is the race and hopefully we can have as good of a start as today and hopefully we can put a bit more pressure on Max.”

As for whether the Scuderia will manage to overcome the pace of Red Bull on Sunday by asking its two drivers to work together, Leclerc’s answer was simple.

“I really hope so,” he added.

Verstappen and Leclerc have qualified and finished first and second respectively in both sprint races in Imola and Austria this year.