Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) has claimed the first F1 victory of his career at the British GP 2022 this Sunday in Silverstone Circuit. A sensational Checo Pérez (Red Bull) came second after making his way up from the bottom of the pack at a race with two starts, a red flag, a safety car and a frightful but casualty-free accident.
Lewis Hamilton rounded off the podium after losing a vibrant duel with the Mexican driver during the final laps, in any case, a substantial step forward for Mercedes. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) was the biggest loser on the day with a modest seven-place finish after his RB18 was slowed down by floor damage.
This victory breaks La Scuderia’s winning drought that started in Australia, giving the Italian team some much-needed breathing space. It has also relieved Sainz from a weight he has been carrying on his shoulders since the start of the season.
"LO HICIMOS. LO HICIMOS. VAMOOOOOOOOOS!!!"
— DAZN España (@DAZN_ES) July 3, 2022
Zhou suffers ghastly accident on first start
Aided by his soft compounds Verstappen passed Sainz – on medium tires- with ease at the start of the British GP 2022. Following a videogame start, Hamilton also took Leclerc and Pérez for third at the very beginning.
Moments later, George Russell (Mercedes) clipped Guanyu Zous’ Alfa Romeo at the end of the hangar straight sending him sliding upside down across the gravel until he vaulted the tire barrier at the first corner.
The red flag came out straight away. Thankfully the Chinese driver was conscious as he was freed from the car and taken to the track’s medical centre. Both Russell and Ocon endured some damage as a result of the incident. Behind them, Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) crashed into Alex Albon (Alpha Tauri) in a separate incident as the latter put his foot down on the brake to avert the accident ahead.
Second exit: Sainz defends his lead like a lion
After an hour’s wait, the British GP 2022 started again and this time Sainz would defend his first position tooth and nail from Verstappen’s offensive, both now on medium compounds. Behind them from third to sixth place, Leclerc, Pérez, Norris and Hamilton kept in their positions.
On the tenth lap, a minor mistake from Sainz, who was feeling the pressure from Verstappen, gifted this the lead of the race. Meanwhile, Leclerc was third and hot on the heels of the Spaniard.
Drama strikes again: Max suffers a floor damage
Two laps later and Sainz took the head of the race again after the Dutchman suffered a floor damage which would slow him down to a final seventh place. After the incident, Sainz was leading with half a second over his teammate, and completed his pit stop on lap 20, re-joining the race in third behind Leclerc and Hamilton, who had remained on the track.
At the halfway point Sainz was flying in third place (actual first place), waiting for Leclerc and Hamilton to go to pits. The young Monegasque then went down to pits Leaving Hamilton in the lead.
Leclerc vs Sainz controversy
Thanks to his new, five-lap younger tires, Leclerc managed to get very close to his Spanish teammate. Ferrari then made the controversial decision of allowing its two drivers to fight it out between themselves.
After Leclerc’s complaints, Sainz finally let Leclerc pass on lap 31, with Hamilton still out and in first place. The Briton had smelt the blood and was closing into Leclerc and Sainz by three-tenths of a second and half a second respectively. He pitted on lap 34, resuming his race behind the leader Leclerc and followed by Sainz.
The safety car that changed everything
The deciding moment came on the 39 lap when a fault in Estaban Ocon’s Alpine triggered a safety car and as Leclerc was escaping ahead, four seconds in front of Sainz. In a swift and clever move, Hamilton and Sainz changed to softs.
Leclerc on the other hand was left outside, his hard and worn tires no match for the fresh compounds of Sainz and Hamilton. The Monegasque became easy prey. Sainz was first to swallow him up and soon after he was also passed by Pérez and Hamilton, to be left in fourth place. By that point, the Spaniard had already made history.
Images of British F1 GP 2022: Ferrari.