Carlos Sainz pulled off his first-ever win in F1 this past weekend at the British GP with some clever strategy calls of his own; Red Bull lost out to Ferrari.

Drama at the Start

The spectators at Abbey were fortunate that the catch fence held up. The lights went out, and all 20 cars took off. Max Verstappen jumped polesitter Carlos Sainz at the start. Then Lewis Hamilton got ahead of Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc, but it all kicked off behind the leaders.

Guanyu Zhou qualified for an impressive ninth position, behind George Russell but ahead of Nicolas Latifi and Pierre Gasly. It must be noted that Latifi also had an impressive qualifying, his first time into Q3.

Latifi boosted his Williams through the gap of Zhou on the left and Russell on the right; it was quite the start for the Canadian. Then Gasly tried to follow through and make it three-wide into Abbey. This was when Russell moved across the track and banged wheels with Gasly, which sent the Mercedes into the Alfa Romeo of Zhou on the outside of the track. Then this happened:

While Guanyu Zhou’s crash appeared as the more dangerous incident, Alex Albon remained in the hospital after Zhou was cleared and released. As you can see from this onboard angle, Albon was rear-ended by Sebastien Vettel as they avoided the accident of Russell, Gasly, and Zhou.

The Williams driver suffered three or four hard hits, one from Vettel, the concrete barrier, Esteban Ocon, then Yuki Tsunoda. Red Flag.

George Russell’s Heroics

The British driver’s car was badly damaged from the crash, and he could not go on, at which point he parked and exited his Mercedes. Russell saw Zhou pinned between the catch fence and the tire barriers.

Russell ran across the gravel to assist the marshalls in extracting the unwounded Zhou. At this point, he wasn’t concerned about the first poor race result he would incur for the season. He wanted to help his colleague.

The Silverstone fans weren’t pleased to see one of their favorites out of the race, but Russell’s sportsmanship did not disappoint.

After Zhou was taken care of, Russell ran back to his car and tried to restart it. He instructed the marshalls to leave it alone while he ran across the live red-flagged race track to ask his engineers how to restart it. When he returned to his car, it was on a tow truck.

I admire Russell’s resolve and sportsmanship in this situation, but I think the marshalls were correct in removing his car. It was severely damaged, and his race was over. I think his race should be over when he exits the cockpit the way he did.

Maiden Victory for Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz held his first-ever first-place trophy in F1 at the 2022 British GP. (Source: Twitter @Carlossainz55)
Carlos Sainz held his first-ever first-place trophy in F1 at the 2022 British GP. (Source: Twitter @Carlossainz55)

Sainz achieved one of his dreams of becoming a Grand Prix winner in F1 last Sunday at Silverstone. The Ferrari driver displayed great strategy awareness in the cockpit, which got him the edge over his teammate. It was a long time coming for the Spaniard, and some speculated that his maiden win wouldn’t come this season.

There were many disappointing second places where Sainz could have stood on the top step. It wasn’t the case at Silverstone. He took the pole position on Saturday, which seemed like a surprise to Sainz, then the race win. Sainz drove well, but he made a few mistakes that would have cost him more.

The Restart

On the first restart, Sainz did not yield to Verstappen, who was on the inside at Abbey. Perez, Leclerc, and Hamilton tried to make up places, but the Spaniard denied all attempts. Sainz led until Lap 10 when he went wide at Becketts, and Verstappen overtook him into the Hanger Straight.

Suddenly, Verstappen’s car slowed down, and the Ferraris overtook him. He drove over some carbon debris that caused a puncture and ruined the floor of his car. Red Bull pitted him for repairs, but their only option was to send him back out and sacrifice performance.

Perez had contact with Leclerc on the restart at The Loop, Leclerc lost a piece of the front wing end plate, but his performance decrease was less than Perez. Red Bull pitted Checo to replace his wing and tires.

Ferrari Bungled the 1-2

With both the Red Bulls wounded, Ferrari could focus on keeping Hamilton behind to secure the 1-2. Ferrari inverted the cars on Lap 31, and the leader Sainz obliged the request by his team. Then, Esteban Ocon pulled over at the old pit straight with a technical problem, and the removal of his Alpine required a safety car.

It is unclear why or if Ferrari could pit both Leclerc and Sainz in time. It is also unclear why they didn’t pit Leclerc for the front wing damage like Red Bull.

After Ocon’s Alpine was removed on the second restart, we saw some brilliant racing. Leclerc stayed out on old hards while Sainz, Hamilton, Perez, and just about everyone else were on softs. It was the wrong call from Ferrari.

Sainz was not about to yield this one to Leclerc like his team was instructing him to do. He picked off Leclerc, who was on the old tires, then he tried to pull a gap while the battle of Perez and Hamilton consumed his teammate.

Checo From the Back, Again

Perez, who had pitted for that new front wing, sliced his way through the 15-car field back to the front. The Mexican driver was determined to find his way around Hamilton and tasted a podium from fourth on the Lap 43 restart.

Checo left it all out on the track those last ten laps. He locked horns with Hamilton and Leclerc for several laps and several consecutive corners. Single overtakes, double overtakes, it was great wheel-to-wheel racing.

ergio "Checo" Perez held up his second-place trophy at Silverstone in 2022. (Source: Twitter@redbullracing)
Sergio “Checo” Perez held up his second-place trophy at Silverstone in 2022. (Source: Twitter@redbullracing)

When it was all said and done, Leclerc had dropped back two places to finish fourth, third for Hamilton, and second for Checo. It was a truly impressive recovery from a crazy first lap.

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

This podium in Silverstone reminded me of Checo’s insane last to first maiden victory in Bahrain in 2020.

Damage Limitation for Red Bull

Red Bull still has the best car, and Checo’s podium proved that in Silverstone. By the race’s mid-point, it seemed as though Red Bull would be losing out in a major way to Ferrari, but the recovery by Checo and Max was enough for 24 points total.

It’s nice to see that Verstappen still has a sense of humor about a piece of carbon fiber that cost him his redemption at the British GP. That same piece was the reason that he had to defend from Mick Schumacher, who… ABSOLUTELY SMASHED IT this weekend; P8 behind Verstappen. Congratulations to Sainz and also Schumacher, who scored his first points in F1.

Next week is Austria, Red Bull’s home race; my prediction…?

My name is Morgan Raynal, and I am a writer for Belly Up Racing and Belly Up Sports. You can find me on Substack and Twitter, and Instagram.

About Author

Morgan Raynal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.