Carlos Sainz Jr picked up his first win in Formula 1, in his one hundred and fiftieth race at the British Grand Prix. The race; however, got off to the most dramatic start with an instant red flag. On the opening lap, Turn One saw five drivers involved in a big crash including, Guanyu Zhou. His car flipped on its head and then flew over the wall and into a fence near the crowd, after George Russell clipped the rookie due to being hit by Pierre Gasly, which led to both of them being unable to continue the race alongside Alex Albon.
The race was delayed for over fifty minutes due to the red flag, with both Zhou and Albon going to the medical centre to be checked out. Both are currently okay with Albon having to be transferred to Coventry Hospital for further tests. Before the red flag, Max Verstappen had got himself into the lead of the race after having a great start and overtaking Sainz very easily. Lewis Hamilton also got off to a great start as he made his way into third place after Turn One.
However, before the race was resumed, the FIA decided to go with the qualifying order at the restart instead of the order when the red flag was flown. This happened as not all of the cars had passed the sector two line before the red flag, and therefore the last confirmed order was the original grid meaning that Verstappen would be pushed back to second and Hamilton to fifth at the restart.
The race got back underway with Sainz getting a much better start into Turn One, and lead the way with Verstappen staying in second. Charles Leclerc kept his place in third but suffered some wing damage alongside Sergio Pérez, after they collided with one another slightly at Turn Three with Pérez coming off worse and having to pit early due to the damage sustained.
The next fifty laps were thoroughly entertaining, with the lead of the race changing hands on many occasions from Sainz to Verstappen, then Leclerc to Hamilton. Crucially a full course Safety Car came on lap thirty-nine, after Esteban Ocon’s car had a loss of power and ended up being parked on the entry to Copse. Both Sainz and Hamilton pitted for Soft tyres, whilst Leclerc stayed out on the Hard tyre to keep track position and the lead of the race.
However, Leclerc could do nothing to stop the inevitable, as Sainz overtook his team-mate as soon as racing got underway again on lap forty-three. The Spaniard led the rest of the way to become a race winner in F1, and only the second Spanish driver to win a race in the sport. Pérez claimed second place and a well deserved Driver of The Day award, after a great fightback from him kept Oracle Red Bull Racing at the top of the Constructors’ Championship. Hamilton claimed the final podium spot and an additional point for the fastest lap, after an impressive performance from the seven-time World Champion.
Sainz finally a race winner
At his one hundred and fiftieth attempt, Sainz can finally say that he is a Grand Prix winner in F1 and he thoroughly deserved it after a great drive.
The ‘smooth operator’ did not get off to the smoothest of starts before the red flag, as he found himself being easily overtaken by the current World Champion. When the race resumed nearly an hour later, Sainz knew that he had to get off to a better start the second-time round, which he did as he was able to pinch Verstappen out on the straight to Turn One and in doing so maintained the lead of the race.
Sainz was in control of the race up until lap ten, where he made a mistake and subsequently ended up going off-track, which led to Verstappen overtaking him as he rejoined the track. Two laps later, Verstappen had to pit due to what seemed to be a puncture, which meant that Sainz regained the lead of the race.
However, Sainz began to struggle over the next few laps as his team-mate closed the gap to him. Ferrari allowed both drivers to fight for the race lead but when they realised that Leclerc was lapping better than Sainz, team orders were used and the Spaniard let Leclerc through into the race lead.
As the race went on, it was looking more unlikely that Sainz would get his first win in the sport after starting on pole for the first time in his career. However, when the Safety Car was deployed on lap thirty-nine, Sainz pitted for Soft tyres whilst his team-mate stayed out on the Hard tyre. Leclerc did not seem too happy by this decision but was told to stay out to keep track position and keep it a one-two for Ferrari. When the race went green again, Sainz took advantage of the fresh Soft tyres he had and cruised past Leclerc into the lead of the race once again, which he maintained right up to the flag to become only the fourth race winner this season.
Pérez saves the day for Red Bull
Red Bull were in high hopes coming into the British Grand Prix, especially with what went down here this time last year. Both Verstappen and Pérez lined-up for the race on the front two rows, with the Dutchman starting in second place and Checo starting in fourth.
Before the red flag, Verstappen had found himself in the lead of the race with Pérez finding himself a few places down in sixth. Both drivers; however, were moved back to their original positions at the restart for the second standing start of the race. Second time round they struggled, as Verstappen could not get ahead of Sainz into Turn One and Pérez suffered damage on his front-wing, as Leclerc tried to go down the inside for an overtake on the Mexican driver which meant that he had to pit on lap six.
Four laps later, Verstappen went into the lead of the race after Sainz made a mistake which led to him going off track. Three laps after that, Verstappen would experience problems of his own as he suffered a suspected puncture and had to pit immediately. He came back out onto the track in fourth place but was complaining still about the car. The team later told him that he had floor damage to the car, which would significantly impact the performance of the RB18 as Verstappen began to lose downforce.
By lap twenty-four, Verstappen had pitted once again for the Hard tyre hoping to stay on that compound for the remainder of the race, whilst Pérez was making his way through the grid as his early pit-stop left him thirty-six seconds off the lead of the race.
When the Safety Car came out on lap thirty-nine, Pérez was currently in fourth place and was now in a great position to get on the podium, whilst his team-mate and the current leader of this season’s Drivers’ Championship was in seventh place and struggling still. Both drivers pitted for Soft tyres and when the race got going again, Pérez took full advantage of his fresh tyres and was competing with Leclerc and Hamilton for a podium position. Over the remaining laps of the race, a great battle occured between all three drivers as they fought it out in dramatic style for second and third place which was eventually secured by Pérez and Hamilton with Leclerc missing out.
After a tough race, Pérez had saved Red Bull from another disappointing British Grand Prix, as Verstappen could only end up finishing in seventh place. The one positive for Red Bull is that they can go again at the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend as they still lead the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championship.
What about the rest?
Fernando Alonso picked up some much needed points for himself and BWT Alpine F1 Team as he finished in fifth place, after Ocon had to retire. Lando Norris finished in sixth for the McLaren F1 Team, whilst Daniel Ricciardo continues to underperform finishing in thirteenth place.
On a more positive note, Mick Schumacher picked up his first points in F1, as he finished in eighth place and his team-mate Kevin Magnussen was able to make it double points for the Haas F1 Team as he finished in tenth place.
It was a disappointing day for Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN as both Zhou and Valtteri Bottas did not finish the race. Scuderia AlphaTauri and Williams F1 Team were also unable to pick up any points, with Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon not finishing the race as there was a total of six DNF’s.
2022 British Grand Prix Full Results:
|1||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||2:17:50.311|
|2||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||Oracle Red Bull Racing||+ 3.779 s|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||+ 6.225 s|
|4||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||+ 8.546 s|
|5||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||BWT Alpine F1 Team||+ 9.571 s|
|6||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||+ 11.943 s|
|7||1||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||+ 18.777 s|
|8||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Haas F1 Team||+ 18.995 s|
|9||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team||+ 22.356 s|
|10||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||+ 24.590 s|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team||+ 26.147 s|
|12||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||+ 32.511 s|
|13||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||+ 32.817 s|
|14||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+ 40.910 s|
|15||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||DNF|
|16||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNF|
|17||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN||DNF|
|18||63||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||DNF|
|19||24||Guanyu Zhou||CHI||Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN||DNF|
|20||23||Alex Albon||THA||Williams Racing||DNF|