2022 Formula 1 British Grand Prix results: Carlos Sainz Jr. leads Ferrari's charge with win at Silverstone
Sainz got Ferrari's campaign going again, while Max Verstappen struggled and Zhou Guanyu had a scary crash at the British GP
It was the finish Ferrari needed but not the one Charles Leclerc had perhaps envisioned, as it was pole-sitter Carlos Sainz Jr. who powered past his teammate and away from the field to win the 2022 F1 British Grand Prix. It is the first F1 victory of Sainz's career.
Sainz ignored team orders at the end of the race on a late restart after a safety car period, as he was ordered to hang back and hold the field off to let Leclerc build a gap. Instead, the Spaniard stayed with Leclerc, who was on older, hard compound tires. Using his fresher soft compound tires to his full advantage, Sainz went after his teammate, made the pass stick and then ran away from the field.
"We managed to hold on, and I'm very happy," Sainz said after the race. "It was not easy. I struggled with balance at the first stint of the race. ... The nerves at the end on that final restart ... Silverstone is a special place for me."
That was just the start of Leclerc's problems, as then the Red Bull of Sergio Perez went around him and, after a long tussle, Lewis Hamilton motored past to take over third and push Leclerc to fourth.
So, on a day when Leclerc could have really taken advantage of Max Verstappen's woes, as the defending series champion finished seventh with an ill-handling car, instead it is Sainz who capitalized.
There was a scare right at the start, when the Mercedes of George Russell was tipped at the rear by the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, who was trying to shoot the gap between Russell and the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu. Russell then clipped the right-rear of Zhou, which put him on his side then upside down as he went through the run-off area, over the barricade and into the catch fence.
In a testament to the build on these cars, Zhou came through it OK, but the field was red flagged for a long stoppage before restarting. From there, it looked like Verstappen would have his way with the Ferraris again until something broke underneath his car at the rear, which disturbed his handling enough that he effectively was hanging on at the finish.
British Grand Prix results
- Carlos Sainz Jr.
- Sergio Perez
- Lewis Hamilton
- Charles Leclerc
- Fernando Alonso
- Lando Norris
- Max Verstappen
- Mick Schumacher
- Sebastian Vettel
- Kevin Magnussen
- Lance Stroll
- Nicholas Latifi
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Yuki Tsunoda
- Esteban Ocon
- Pierre Gasly
- Valtteri Bottas
- George Russell
- Zhou Guanyu
- Alex Albon
What we learned
It was likely an entertaining debrief at the Ferrari transporters after the race with Leclerc and Sainz, the former bitter over finishing fourth and the latter ecstatic over his first F1 victory, which came by him going on his own strategy at the finish and not listening to the team.
As Sainz was celebrating his win on the podium, TV cameras caught Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto talking to Leclerc very pointedly, with body language that looked more like one was lecturing and the other doing all the listening.
Perhaps Leclerc had immediately asked questions about why he was not allowed to pit and was told to stay out on worn-out "whites" when Sainz came in for the softer "reds." Afterward, Leclerc told Formula 1's official website that, "Of course the frustration is high, because the end result is that my race has been very difficult after that. I was just trying to do my best to keep the cars behind but obviously on a new soft and a used hard, it's quite a big difference. ... I'll just analyze with the team to understand if there's anything we could have done better there."
For his part, Sainz said that, "I've always been a team player, I will always be a team player, and especially in Ferrari, I know the team is in front of me and my personal interests. I had the same philosophy when I overtook Charles, when I overtook him back. Today is a good example that we managed the race. We had two cars, first and second, before the Safety Car restart."
Still, it will be hard for Leclerc to not wonder if he missed an opportunity, particularly since the defending series champion and current points leader Verstappen had such a difficult race and finished seventh.
Verstappen still leads in points with 181 as the series heads to Austria for the July 10 Rolex Austrian Grand Prix, with Perez second at 147, followed by Leclerc (131). Sainz is now fourth at 127.
Speaking of Perez, in many ways he had to be the second happiest driver at the finish. On the stat sheet it would appear he only gained two spots to finish the race in second, but that doesn't take into account the opening race issue he had when he and Leclerc got into it with each other, sending the Mexican to an early pitstop for a new nose piece.
He returned in the 16th spot and began carving his way back through the field. With Verstappen having his own issues that were never resolved, Perez became Red Bull's best hope of winning. Perhaps, had the race been a few laps longer, Perez might've even accomplished that, but in the end his second-place run, considering all that went into it, was truly amazing.
Hamilton and Leclerc go at it again, and this time Hamilton gets past ... and then Leclerc gets back into third.
Hamilton tries again, this time with DRS help, and he's past Leclerc and into third.
Here comes Fernando Alonso on Leclerc.
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