Leclerc wins dramatic Austrian GP ahead of Verstappen with Hamilton third after Sainz's car bursts into flames | The Sun

CHARLES LECLERC won his third race of the season in an Austrian GP marred by accusations of homophobic and racist slurs in the crowd.

The largely Dutch crowd were left disappointed as they watched Leclerc overtake Max Verstappen three times on his way to victory.

F1 chiefs condemned the reported harassment and have taken up the matter with the Red Bull Ring.

But on the track the racing lived up to expectations yet again as the chequered flag marked the halfway stage of the campaign.

Lewis Hamilton took P3 for a third consecutive race, the Brit capitalising on some rotten luck for Carlos Sainz who retired after his car caught fire.

With Sainz still in his cockpit and his car rolling downhill, the Spaniard had to battle gravity as he unstrapped his seatbelts and attempted to leap from his flaming machine.

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Hamilton's Brit teammate George Russell made it a three-four for Mercedes in another good race for the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton struggled in the opening exchanges of the race, falling behind Mick Schumacher and complaining he lacked the straight-line speed of the Haas'.

But Hamilton moved back past Schumacher on lap 14 and then overtook Kevin Magnussen in the other Haas the next time around.

Up front Leclerc managed to drag his car home despite having throttle problems towards the end.

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Verstappen was closing fast in the final laps of the race, but Leclerc managed to coax his car home to score his first P1 since Australia on April 10.

The result reignited Leclerc's hopes of a maiden world title, and cut Verstappen's lead at the top of the standings to 38 points.

Speaking after his win, Leclerc said: "It was a really good race, the pace was there and the end was incredibly difficult with the throttle problem, but we managed to make it stick until the end.

"Weirdly my problem was at the same time as Carlos, but I knew it was a pedal problem rather than an engine problem.

"I definitely needed that one. The last five races have been difficult for me and the team and it is great to finally get one."

Hamilton meanwhile vowed to keep "chipping away" as he recorded another important podium.

The seven-time world champ said: "What an incredible crowd, it has been a difficult weekend, a rough weekend, but we take the points and move forward.

"I want to say a big thank you to the guys in the garage, I am so thankful to them for working so hard. We have made some improvements and we will keep chipping away at them."

Esteban Ocon (Alpine) took the chequered flag in fifth ahead of Schumacher (Haas), who backed up his first points in F1 last weekend with another top 10 finish.

Lando Norris (McLaren) finished seventh, with Kevin Magnussen (Haas) eighth, Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) ninth and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) rounding off the points in tenth.

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