Carlos Sainz Jr. made history today by winning his first Formula 1 race at the British Grand Prix on Sunday. One of the dramatic races this season, it saw a terrifying crash during the opening lap that resulted in the start of the race being delayed by almost an hour.
Once the debris was cleared and the race restarted, the battle for a podium finish saw wheel-to-wheel battles between Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton. However, it was Sainz who gained the advantage over LeClerc going into the final laps, with Charles Leclerc and Ferrari close behind.
With the risk of losing time to Hamilton, Ferrari gave the order to Sainz to let Leclerc past, but the deployment of a safety car saw the two pitting for fresh tires. Sainz, who was driving his 150th grand prix in F1 and had yet to stand atop the podium, then went onto overtake Leclerc and drove to victory.
“Honestly, I never stopped believing that this dream was going to come, even though this year has been tough for me.”
2022 British Grand Prix
After the restart, the battle continued with Sergio Pérez passing Lewis Hamilton and Charles
Leclerc, before Hamilton briefly jumped into second in what saw the trio going three-wide. However, Hamilton was unable to hold onto second and fell back to fourth before surging past Charles LeClerc on lap 48 to take a third place finish.
“I gave it everything,” said Hamilton, who was third in Canada two weeks ago and hoped Mercedes is on a comeback. The team has been unable to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari for wins this season, but an added upgrade to the Mercedes ahead of this weekend was promising. We’ve got some improvements to make but this is a huge bonus for us to be on the podium.”
After the race, LeClerc was observed talking with Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, later admitting that he was disappointed with the result and had questioned Binotto why the team left him on old tires.
“We could have changed the tires but I was asked to stay out on track. So that’s what I did.”
Max Verstappen, who is the current standings leader and defending F1 champion, finished seventh after losing the lead after he ran over debris resulting in damage to his car. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez called the race a great comeback. The Mexican driver has a solid start before suffering wing damage while battling Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
The damage came during a first corner crash that resulted in Alex Albon and Zhou Guanyu both requiring medical treatment. The most serious of the two was Zhou, whose car flipped upside down and ended up wedged between a tried barrier and fence. Luckily, the Chinese driver, who had to be cut out of the wreckage by safety crews, was not seriously injured and was taken by helicopter to the Silverstone Medical Centre for “precautionary checks.”
After being cleared by medical personnel, Zhou stated that the “halo” device drivers wear to protect their heads was down to the bare metal after it was dragged over the gravel. He credited the device for saving his life.
Unfortunately, the race was marred by protestors who ran onto the track after the accident to protest the oil industry, seven of which were arrested by Northamptonshire Police. Hamilton, who showed his support for the protestors, was heard saying, “Big up those guys.”
However, his comments were clarified by Mercedes, who stated that Hamilton was unaware of the circumstances and was only “endorsing their right to protest but not the method that they chose, which compromised their safety and that of others.”
The race was also mired by controversy by comments made by former F1 driver, Nelson Piquet after it came out that he had used homophobic language and a racial slur to describe Lewis Hamilton. The outcry over his comments saw many criticizing Max Verstappen, who is dating Piquet’s daughter, Kelly for claiming that while Piquet used offensive language, he is not racist.
That criticism and their dislike of his comments became apparent when the points leader fell behind the Ferraris during the restart. This saw crowds cheering of celebration of his misfortune, even though the Dutch driver still remains out front in the points races.
With the British Grand Prix behind them, the drivers now head off to Austria for the Austria Grand Prix on July 10th, before preparing for the Grand Prix De France 2022 on the 24th of July.