Sainz takes maiden victory in thrilling Silverstone race

Carlos Sainz has finally won a Formula 1 race in a thrilling British Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton. The race was disrupted by a horrifying first corner crash, protestors and a safety car that cost Charles Leclerc.

Home crowd favourite Lewis Hamilton was able to take a podium finish, with Max Verstappen picking up damage that dropped out of the lead fight early in the restarted race, which was stopped after just a few corners due to the Turn 1 incident.

At the start of the race, Verstappen used the grip advantage of soft tyres against the mediums on pole-sitting Sainz’s Ferrari to get alongside off the line and steal ahead into Abbey to immediately wrestle the lead from second on the grid, while Hamilton rocketed past Sergio Perez and Leclerc to take third from fifth.

As Leclerc was making an attempt to get back ahead of the Mercedes through Village and the Loop a couple of corners later, the race was red flagged due to the multi-car pile-up behind the leaders at Abbey.

On the approach to the rapid right first corner, contact between Pierre Gasly and George Russell to immediate the right of Zhou Guanyu speared the Mercedes into the side of the Alfa Romeo, which flipped it over.

Zhou slid at high speed into the gravel upside down and in horrifying scenes bounced over the tyre barrier beyond, with the Chinese driver’s wrecked car coming to rest between the catch fence protecting the grandstand just behind and the back of the barrier.

It took several minutes to get Zhou out, but fortunately he was conscious and taken to the track medical centre.

Williams driver Alex Albon was also transported there as he was the first driver to be caught up in a secondary incident after Zhou and Russell were eliminated (Gasly was able to carry on relatively unscathed).

As the following Valtteri Bottas slowed, his car being showered with debris, Albon braked hard too and was rear-ended by Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin, which spun the Williams into the wall and he then hit the front-front of Alpine driver Esteban Ocon and then as a result of that third impact struck Yuki Tsunoda in the other AlphaTauri.

All of those drivers bar Albon was able to recover to the pits for repairs, with the race suspended for 53 minutes, during which it was confirmed that several protestors had invaded the track shortly down the Wellington straight at the same time as the original start before quickly being removed.

When it did resume, the order – other the three cars that did not take the restart – was the same as the initial grid.

This was because the pack had not passed the second safety car line at the end of lengthy pit lane exit by the time the race was stopped and in such circumstances the FIA must take the order from last point it can determine the order, which is back to what it was before the lights had gone out.

This time, with Verstappen now matching the Ferrari cars on the medium tyres, the Red Bull again made a better getaway and was quickly alongside Sainz, who squeezed the Dutchman close to the pitwall.

But with Verstappen not backing down, Sainz was forced to hang on around the outside of Abbey but did so to thrillingly retain the lead, with Leclerc again making a slow getaway behind the two leaders – this time with Perez getting by off the line.

But Leclerc sent a bold move to Perez’s inside at Turn 4 – the Loop – and was able to force his way back to third, with the Monegasque driver then getting such good drive onto the Wellington straight he was able to attack Verstappen at Brooklands.

There, with Leclerc obliged by Verstappen to take the outside line, the pair clashed lightly and the Ferrari had to take to the runoff before his right-front wing endplate, which was damaged in the earlier contact with Perez, flying off on the run to Copse and hitting the Red Bull’s front wing right-side and causing similar harm.

That would soon mean Perez had to pit for a new wing, which released the battling Hamilton and Lando Norris, while up front Sainz had established a lead over a second by the time the DRS was activated on lap five of 52.

It took Verstappen a few laps before he was able to edge his way back into the critical one-second window, after which he was able to put Sainz under considerable pressure.

On lap 10, Sainz had to catch a massive oversteer snap through Becketts and was snapped off track briefly, which allowed Verstappen to sweep ahead down the Hanger straight.

Verstappen quickly shot to a lead above one second, but his lead only lasted two laps as he was then slow through Maggotts and Becketts with what he suspected was a puncture picked up after running over the kerbs at Copse on lap 12, but which Red Bull later explained was damage to a small winglet at the rear of his car.

Verstappen immediately pitted for another set of mediums, Sainz having already moved back to the lead and Leclerc threatening, with Hamilton not far behind after he had despatched Norris into Brooklands on the lap after Perez stopped early on.

That put Verstappen out of contention, with Sainz soon coming under pressure from Leclerc despite the second Ferrari’s damaged front wing, the gap down to 0.9 seconds by lap 14.

Leclerc was so close Sainz decided to move down the Hanger straight, with the chasing Ferrari soon insisting he was quicker and urging Ferrari to do something about the situation.

With Ferrari opting to leave things alone, Hamilton was soon homing in on the pair and was just under four seconds behind when Sainz was called in to ease Ferrari’s quandary at the end of lap 20 to take the hards.

Leclerc therefore led for the next five laps before he pitted, having been shipping a few tenths each time to the charging Hamilton behind.

Mercedes did not immediately move to bring its remaining car in, opting to build a tyre off-set while Leclerc, having passed the difficult tyre warm-up phase on the white-walled rubber that Sainz had already got through, again closed in on his team-mate.

Ferrari gave Sainz the chance to lift his pace, but decided he could not run fast enough and so on lap 31 ordered Carlos to let his team-mate by.

After this, Leclerc edged clear to lead by just under a second, but was matching Hamilton’s times up front and so on lap 33 Lewis was called in to make his switch to the hards, but a getting his used left-front medium off took slightly longer than normal and so it ended up being a 4.3 seconds stop that meant he came out behind the two red cars.

Leclerc began pulling away from Sainz, who had been warned he need to save fuel, to his frustration, with the gap between the pair reaching 3.5 seconds at the end of lap 38.

But on the next tour, Esteban Ocon – who had just overtaken Verstappen for eighth with the Red Bull having made a second stop to take hards, which he felt made his hobbled car worse – slowed down the national pits straight.

Ocon stopped before Copse and the safety car was therefore called out, with Ferrari leaving Leclerc out on his ageing hards despite appearing to have time to call him in, as it did for Sainz and Mercedes did for Hamilton.

The closed the pack up, with Perez, who had been displaying strong pace after his early first stop, therefore suddenly a factor again in fourth.

Ferrari urged Sainz, who like all the frontrunners bar Leclerc would see out the race on the softs, to drop back at the restart within the allowed 10 car lengths to give the lead “breathing space” – a call he swiftly rejected.

On the restart tour on lap 43, Leclerc lost momentum going wide out of Aintree and onto the Wellington straight, with Sainz blasting back to the lead after seeing off his team-mate’s attentions at Brooklands.

Sainz steamed clear, with Leclerc running ahead of Perez, who had dispatched the seemingly grip-less Hamilton as they ran through Aintree behind the battling Ferraris.

On lap 45, with Sainz clear ahead by 2.3s, Leclerc slid through Luffield and Perez was all over his rear – the Mexican staying close and then making a late, bold dive on the inside line at Stowe.

But Leclerc hung on and they went side-by-side through the first two parts of Club, with Perez appearing to go off track exiting the second apex and Hamilton therefore nipping ahead of both through the final part running onto the Hamilton straight opposite the pits.

Perez then forcefully repassed the Mercedes at Village on the next lap and shot clear to chase Sainz, which ended up fruitless as the Ferrari driver held on to take his first F1 win by 3.7 seconds.

The action was not over however, as on lap 47 Hamilton went around Leclerc’s outside all the way around Luffield to run third by the time they reached Woodcote.

But Leclerc did not give up and somehow took his much older hards to get a run on the outside of Copse, where he repassed Hamilton in a stunning move.

It was all for nothing as Hamilton blasted by with DRS on the subsequent run down the Hanger straight, with the home hero going on to finish 6.2 seconds behind Sainz.

Leclerc was able to defy the closely-following Fernando Alonso and Norris, both of whom had stopped under the safety car as well, to the finish in fourth, fifth and six.

Verstappen came home seventh after likewise getting a safety car stop for softs and he saw off the close attentions of Mick Schumacher.

The Haas driver had a look to the inside of Stowe with a couple of laps remaining and then nearly hit Verstappen with a bold move at the first part of Club on the final tour before backing out of certain contact at the final corner just a few moments later.

That decision meant Schumacher scored his first Formula 1 points in eighth ahead of mentor Vettel and team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

The other retirees were Gasly and Valtteri Bottas, who both stopped in the pits during the middle phase of the race, the former having early been spun around at Village when team-mate Tsunoda lost the rear of his car in a move to the inside, for which the Japanese driver was given a five-second time addition penalty.

Tsunoda finished last behind the other remaining runners Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi and Daniel Ricciardo.

The late passes between Perez and Leclerc and Perez and Hamilton were noted by the stewards by were deemed not worthy of investigating.

What a thrilling Formula 1 race at Silverstone. The highs and lows of emotions with that scary crash for Zhou followed by his maiden victory for Sainz. The racing was also epic with brilliant wheel to wheel battle.

British Grand Prix, race results:
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 2:17:50.311
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull 3.779
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6.225
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 8.546
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine 9.571
6 Lando Norris McLaren 11.943
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 18.777
8 Mick Schumacher Haas 18.995
9 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 22.356
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas 24.590
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 26.147
12 Nicholas Latifi Williams 32.511
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 32.817
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 40.910
– Esteban Ocon Alpine DNF
– Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri DNF
– Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo DNF
– George Russell Mercedes DNF
– Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo DNF
– Alex Albon Williams DNF

5 thoughts to “Sainz takes maiden victory in thrilling Silverstone race”

  1. British Grand Prix race review as reported by

    Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has claimed his first Formula 1 victory after a breath-taking contest at the British Grand Prix, the Spaniard finishing ahead of the Red Bull of Sergio Perez and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

    Key to Sainz’s victory was a late Safety Car caused by Esteban Ocon retiring his Alpine – Sainz then attacking team mate Charles Leclerc on fresh tyres at the restart to claim P1 and check out for his first win on his 150th Grand Prix start.

    The action was frenetic in the final laps, however, with Perez – who’d dropped to P16 after a pit stop, having had contact at the early race restart following a red-flag stoppage – coming out on top in a thrilling fight with Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to take an unlikely P2.

    Hamilton, meanwhile, delighted the crowd with his second straight podium and 13th at Silverstone – an all-time record at a single venue – in P3.

    The drama that caused that early red flag came at the original race start, with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Williams’ Alex Albon both taken to the medical centre after separate Turn 1 incidents – with Zhou later released, as Albon was transferred to nearby Coventry Hospital for precautionary checks, with those two, plus Mercedes’ George Russell, forced into retirement following the incidents.

    Leclerc was forced to take P4, having led for large parts of the race, finishing ahead of the Alpine of Fernando Alonso and the McLaren of Lando Norris.

    Championship leader Max Verstappen could only take P7, the early race leader having suffered some form of damage that hobbled his Red Bull, the Dutchman holding off the Haas of Mick Schumacher in the final laps, as the German scored his first points in F1 in P8.

    Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10, with Lance Stroll 11th in the second Aston Martin, ahead of Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda – on what was a red-letter day for Carlos Sainz.

    Once Sebastian Vettel had delighted fans with a carbon neutral-fuelled demo run in the 1992 Williams FW14B that he owns, and the grid full of celebrities – including Tom Cruise, Stormzy and the FW14B’s original driver, Nigel Mansell – had been escorted to safety, it was time for the real business of racing to get under way.

    It wasn’t raining as it was during qualifying on Saturday, but it wasn’t exactly bright sunshine – menacing clouds looming with intent and a strong wind blowing. Race control had the risk of rain at 20% – but the clouds soon dissipated, leaving us with a dry race.

    Verstappen nailed the start from P2, having opted for soft tyres compared to pole-sitter Sainz on the mediums to claim the lead, as Hamilton aced his own getaway to climb from P5 above Leclerc to P3. However, the red flags were soon flying after an incident at Turn 1 involving George Russell, Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu, followed by a separate one down the order involving Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda, and Alex Albon.

    Zhou and Albon were both taken to the medical centre conscious, after what had been a pair of ugly crashes. The FIA then announced that the race would see a standing restart with the grid reset to its original positions – Zhou, Albon and Russell now ruled out of the proceedings, while those who enjoyed a good getaway first time around had it all to do again.

    After a 45-minute stoppage, the cars reformed on the grid. As the five red lights went out for the second time on Sunday afternoon, Sainz moved over to cover the now medium-shod Verstappen, muscling him towards the wall at Turn 1, checking the Dutchman’s momentum enough to retain his lead.

    Behind, Perez and Leclerc made contact fighting it out for P3 at Turn 4, causing damage to the Mexican’s front wing, while Norris got ahead of Hamilton to take P5 at The Loop. Leclerc, having muscled past Perez, then tried a move on Verstappen into Brooklands, Verstappen putting in a stout defence that saw Leclerc run off track – Stewards noting the incident but deciding not to issue a punishment.

    Perez was clearly hobbled, and was forced to dive into the pits on Lap 5 for a new nose and another set of medium tyres, the Mexican dropping from P4 to P16. Up front, Verstappen had his blood up and was starting to reel in Sainz after the Spaniard’s aggressive restart. “He’s a bit quicker,” Sainz told his team. He was indeed – but Sainz made Verstappen’s extra pace academic when he had a wobble on the exit of Maggots/Becketts and ran off track, allowing Verstappen an easy pass.

    Behind, meanwhile, the AlphaTauris performed a neat double pirouette after Tsunoda lost the back end of his car at Turn 3 and hit Gasly, both rotating and then carrying on – with Tsunoda given a five-second penalty for causing a collision. Gasly would later be forced into retirement.

    Lap 12 and Sainz was back in front. Verstappen felt he’d run over some carbon and, fearing a puncture, dived straight into the pits, having seen the two Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc breeze past. A new set of mediums were administered and he emerged P6, but was still unhappy with the car – the team confirming he’d suffered bodywork damage that would compromise his performance, but which wasn’t safety-critical, despite Verstappen’s claims that the car was “100% broken”.

    With Verstappen out of the picture at the front, the battle to watch was now the Ferrari team mates Sainz and Leclerc up front – Leclerc becoming increasingly frustrated behind the race-leading Spaniard, who he said was “****ing up his race”, with the Mercedes of Hamilton becoming larger and larger in the Monegasque’s mirrors.

    Ferrari’s solution was to bring Sainz in on Lap 20 for new hards, allowing Leclerc free air, Sainz remerging in P3 just in front of Lando Norris. It was now Hammer Time, shades of 12 months ago as Hamilton – the W13 upgrades seemingly working sweetly – steadily reeled in Leclerc, the Ferrari driver having suffered some front wing damage in his restart contact with Perez.

    Leclerc was brought into the pits on Lap 25, emerging back behind Sainz in P3 as Hamilton took the lead of a race for the first time in 2022. That meant the order at the halfway point on Lap 26 of 52 was Hamilton from Sainz and Leclerc, followed by Norris in P4, then Alonso, Perez, Vettel, Verstappen – who’d pitted again for hards on Lap 23 but was complaining that handling his RB18 was like “driving on ice” – with Nicholas Latifi holding on in P9 ahead of Esteban Ocon.

    Hamilton was setting stirring pace on his aging medium tyres at the front, as he tried to make his overcut work on the Ferraris. On Lap 31, Sainz was ordered to move over, having not matched the pace delta the team had set, with Leclerc released into P2. Despite the fact that Hamilton was 18s up the road from Leclerc, this virtual race was tense stuff, as the engineers’ prediction software on the pit walls and back at mission control crunched crucial numbers.

    “I can’t maintain this pace forever,” said Hamilton, and Mercedes took pity on Lap 33, bringing him in for hards on what was a sluggish 4.3s stop, with an issue on the rear-left. He emerged third, around 4s behind Leclerc and Sainz – and not hugely impressed at that fact.

    Verstappen’s miserable afternoon saw him overtaken by Esteban Ocon for P8 on Lap 38. Verstappen then repaid the favour, but it was too easy – and indeed, Ocon was slowing, eventually pulling up just before Copse and bringing out a Safety Car. Sainz and Hamilton immediately dived into the pits, leaving Leclerc out front on his used hards – all drivers except Magnussen and the Monegasque pitting.

    Racing got going on Lap 43 of 52, with Sainz cannily reminding Ferrari: “I’m going to be much faster than Charles.” There were tense faces on the Ferrari pit wall, as Sainz – angered by an instruction to allow his team mate “breathing room” at the restart – ignored the instruction and instead attacked and passed into Brooklands to retake the lead, Perez passing Hamilton through The Loop for P3.

    The action from there until the close of play was fantastic. Sainz had checked out at the front, but behind a mistake from Leclerc at Turn 18 allowed Perez and Hamilton to close up, the trio then passing and repassing each other in a fitting end to what had been a chaotic race. It was Perez, though, who had the legs, passing Hamilton into the Village Complex, with Leclerc sneaking past the Mercedes too, before that duo enjoyed a sensational duel – Leclerc brilliantly holding off Hamilton through Copse, only to be forced to cede position at Stowe.

    That was how the top four shook out, Sainz crossing the line 3.779s up on Perez for his first-ever victory in Formula 1 – and Ferrari’s first victory since Australia in April. Perez was delighted, if a little shell-shocked, with his recovery from P16 at one point to the P2, while the biggest cheers were reserved for Hamilton, taking P3 after a typically Hamilton-esque drive that would have gladdened the hearts of the Mercedes engineers after their work on the car’s updates.

    Leclerc had to settle for P4 and may be left asking questions, having not been pitted himself under the Safety Car, as canny Fernando Alonso rounded out the top five on a good day for Spanish F1 fans – Norris taking P6 in front of his home crowd.

    Verstappen was left to fight with Mick Schumacher in his hobbled Red Bull, just holding off the German to take P7, as Schumacher scored his first F1 points. Vettel and Magnussen rounded out the top 10, Haas taking double points after a five-race drought.

    Stroll made it up from P20 to P11, ahead of Latifi – who stopped on the start-finish straight at the race end – with Ricciardo P13 after a tough, four-pit-stop afternoon, with Tsunoda classified 14th and last.

    But after the second-longest wait for a win in Formula 1 history, it was Sainz who was the main man today – although, after some team radio dynamite between their two drivers, it might be an interesting debrief at Ferrari on Sunday evening…

  2. Zhou escapes serious injury after massive Silverstone Formula 1 Turn 1 crash. has the news story.

    Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu has escaped serious injury following a terrifying Turn 1 incident that forced the Formula 1 British Grand Prix to be red-flagged.

    The Chinese driver, who had started ninth, was tipped over on the run down to the opening Abbey turn as drivers accelerated away from the start.

    His car then skipped upside down through the gravel trap before rolling over the crash barriers and ending up on its side, having been stopped only by the catch fencing.

    The race was immediately red flagged and marshals and medical crews were quickly on the scene. Zhou was extracted from the car and taken to the track’s medical centre.

    The crash was triggered by Pierre Gasly, starting behind Zhou, getting sandwiched between the Alfa Romeo on his left and the Mercedes of George Russell on the right on the run down to Turn 1.

    Gasly tagged Russell’s left rear tyre when the Mercedes turned in, and that spun the Briton into Zhou on the left, who then rolled over

    Russell later stopped at the first corner with his left rear tyre having been detached from the wheel. Having seen Zhou’s car fired over the barriers, he ran to check on the Chinese racer.

    Further back, there was a separate incident as the Williams of Alex Albon was pitched right in to the pit wall after being hit from behind by the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel.

    Albon’s damaged car was then struck by other cars as it spun to the outside, with Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon being caught up in the melee.

    A statement from the FIA confirmed that both Zhou and Albon were conscious after the incidents and being checked over by medical staff.

    “The FIA advises that following the incident at the start of the race, emergency crews were immediately in attendance, and the drivers of Car 23 (Albon) and Car 24 (Zhou) have been taken to the medical centre,” the statement read.

    “Both drivers were conscious and will be evaluated at the medical centre. Further updates will be given in due course.”

    The Alfa Romeo team later told Zhou’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas: “Zhou is conscious, he is talking, there are no fractures. Considering the circumstances, he is pretty good, pretty well.”

    Having been kept under observation at the medical centre, Zhou has now been declared fit and released.

    Further around the lap, track officials and the police had to deal with protestors who invaded the track on the opening lap after the red flag had been put out.

    A statement from F1 said: “We can confirm that after the red flag, several people attempted to enter the track.

    “These people were immediately removed and the matter is now being dealt with by the local authorities.”

  3. Ferrari “too quick” for Lewis Hamilton to beat in Formula 1 British Grand Prix. has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton says Ferrari was just “too quick” for him to realistically think about winning Formula 1’s British Grand Prix, despite appearing to be in the hunt for victory.

    The Mercedes driver made the most of an upgraded Mercedes W13 to challenge Ferrari for the race win at Silverstone and eventually come home on the podium in third.

    But despite running third behind Charles Leclerc and eventual race winner Carlos Sainz before the final safety car restart, Hamilton was unable to capitalise on the opportunity and push for the top spot.

    Instead, Sainz went through for the lead to take his maiden F1 win, and Hamilton fell back behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez – who made the most of a straightline speed advantage to move up from fourth.

    Hamilton later was able to take Leclerc to finish third after a thrilling fight for the final podium spot.

    Although Hamilton led the race, and had a tyre offset before the safety car that could have allowed him to stage a late push for the win, Hamilton explained afterwards that his Ferrari rivals had the ultimate edge.

    “I gave it everything today,” he said afterwards. “I was trying to chase down those Ferraris, but congratulations to Carlos. They were just too quick today for us.

    “In the end I was in amongst that battle with Checo [Perez].

    “Those guys were just too quick on the straights for me today. But I’m so, so grateful for the hard work all the team did to get an upgrade here. We’ve made a step closer to them. So we’ve got to keep pushing.”

    Hamilton said he pushed as hard as he could to take the fight to Ferrari at the end, but reckons Red Bull’s top speed advantage, which has been a characteristic all season, was the trigger for him losing out to Perez.

    “I was chasing and chasing and chasing, and the pace was great on both sets of tyres,” he added.

    “But at the end there, it was just a little bit difficult. Once you get a Red Bull behind you, they are so fast on the straights. So we’ve got some improvements to make.

    “But this is a huge bonus for us to be on the podium. I am glad everyone was safe from the big crash at the beginning of the day.”

    He added: “We are going to continue to push. Let’s keep trying to be the best we can.”

  4. British Grand Prix winner Carlos Sainz “kept believing” he could win the Silverstone Formula 1 race. has the full story.

    Carlos Sainz says he kept believing he could clinch his maiden grand prix win at Silverstone despite falling behind teammate Charles Leclerc in Formula 1’s British Grand Prix.

    Sainz won Sunday’s race after a safety car for Esteban Ocon’s stricken Alpine set up a thrilling finale with leader Leclerc staying out on his hard tyres, which gave Sainz and Mercedes’ Hamilton a free stop for softs.

    On the restart Sainz quickly overtook Leclerc to clinch his maiden grand prix win. Despite having to give way to Leclerc earlier in the race, the Spaniard said he still believed he could finally break his duck in F1.

    “It was not easy. I struggled quite a bit with the balance, especially on the first stint with medium tyre, Max was forcing us to push a lot through the high speed. But even with all that I kept believing that it could still happen,” he said.

    “I needed to stay in the race like I was trying to and then all of a sudden the safety car gave me the opportunity to get back on it. Yeah, we did it.

    “You can imagine the nerves on that safety car restart, knowing it was my chance and getting it done.”

    Sainz said his first win in 150 starts “is a day that I will never forget” after several near-misses and a 2022 season in which he generally struggled to match Leclerc.

    “It’s amazing. I mean, a first race win 150 races later with Ferrari in Silverstone, I cannot ask for more. It’s a very special day, a day that I will never forget.

    “A very special weekend in general. Silverstone has been a bit of a special place for me, first ever race win here in Formula BMW back in 2010, first pole position here back in 2010.

    “Suddenly, 12 years later, I achieved exactly the same but in Formula 1 with Ferrari. So it’s a special place for me. I thank the whole crowd for being part of it and cheering me on.”

    Several seconds behind Sainz, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez snatched second place away from Hamilton following a frantic scrap, with a crestfallen Leclerc a sitting duck on his old tyres as he dropped down to fourth.

    Sainz vaults over George Russell, who retired after a massive multi-car start crash, to fourth place in the drivers’ championship, 54 points behind leader Verstappen and 11 units behind Leclerc.

  5. Ferrari has explained its decision to pit Carlos Sainz instead of race leader Charles Leclerc under the late safety car in the Formula 1 British Grand Prix.

    After a hectic opening stint that saw Ferrari see Sainz lose and regain the lead of the race, the team found itself wary of the threat posed by Lewis Hamilton after the Mercedes driver built up a tyre delta.

    Ferrari asked Sainz to give up position to Leclerc after noting it would have been marginal for both cars to get ahead of Hamilton once Mercedes brought him into the pits. Hamilton emerged in third place after stopping, but was slowly catching the Ferraris thanks to his tyre advantage.

    A safety car called with 14 laps remaining prompted a flurry of late pit stops, but Ferrari opted to keep race leader Leclerc out and only bring in Sainz for a set of soft tyres.

    Leclerc noted over the radio that it would be “hard” to keep the chasing cars on soft tyres behind him, and it proved to be the case. After losing the lead to Sainz heading onto the Wellington Straight after the race resumed, he then got overtaken by Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages.

    Leclerc admitted after the race that it was “disappointing” to have missed out on victory, having seen chief F1 title rival Max Verstappen only finish seventh due to bodywork damage.

    Asked by Autosport why Ferrari pitted Sainz instead of Leclerc, team principal Mattia Binotto said it was “too close to stop both of them”, prompting it to keep Leclerc out due to his fresher tyres and track position.

    “There was not a sufficient gap to stop both of them, because the second would have lost time at the pit stop and would have fallen back on-track,” Binotto said.

    “Why then by deciding to stop only one, why we decided to stop Carlos? Because Charles got the track position. He was leading, so he would have remained the leader of the race.

    “His tyres were fresher compared to the ones of Carlos. He had I think six or seven laps less laps to the one of Carlos in a better shape.

    “And Carlos, by stopping and being second, he would have protected at least in the first couple of corners where we knew that starting on the hard, it would have been a bit more difficult. That was the reason why we decided.

    “Then we were hoping for more tyre degradation on the softs, to give Charles, yeah, maybe a difficult three or four laps initially but then recovering later on, but the soft didn’t degrade as we were hoping.”

    Binotto thought Ferrari’s decisions on race strategy were “the right and proper ones at each single time”, with the only potential miscue coming in the call to keep Leclerc out instead of coming in.

    “If we would have stopped, maybe the other ones may have stayed out, and they would have maybe been fourth on soft tyres with other cars ahead of him,” Binotto said.

    “Would he have recovered the positions? I’m not sure. I think with the hindsight, it’s always easy to say we could have done differently.

    “We had once again a safety car at the wrong moment where we were comfortably leading the race at that point.”

    Binotto and Leclerc were seen chatting immediately after the race at Silverstone, but the Ferrari team boss says this was just him trying to console his driver after he was “once again unlucky”.

    “First, I knew that he was disappointed and frustrated, which is understandable because he was leading clearly the race and he was comfortable going very fast at the time when the safety car came out.

    “And for him today was a great opportunity in terms of championship because he was leading while Max had some problems.

    “So then the safety car came out, he had a difficult let me say end of the of the race and no doubt that he was disappointed.

    “So when I met him, I knew he was disappointed. But what I told him is you did a fantastic race once again, because you did a fantastic first lap of the race battling.

    “And then after the restart behind the safety car again, the way he was driving and protecting position is amazing and outstanding.

    “So I told him simply to stay calm, because the way he drove was fantastic.

    “He has been once again unlucky today, because a safety car when you are leading a few laps to the end, is somehow bad luck. And I think that overall that’s why the reason I think we simply tried not to be too disappointed.”


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