Carlos Sainz Snags His First F1 Victory in Thrilling British Grand Prix

Sainz won despite Ferrari’s best efforts to hand the win to Leclerc.

byNico DeMattia| PUBLISHED Jul 4, 2022 9:00 AM
Carlos Sainz Snags His First F1 Victory in Thrilling British Grand Prix
NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 03:Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scuderia Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team celebrate victory after the race of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 3, 2022 in Northampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jose Hernandez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images).

After a thrilling, and at moments terrifying, British Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz took home his first-ever F1 victory, on his 150th race. The British Grand Prix was one of the most exciting F1 races in recent memory, one that truly came down to the final laps. Sainz's victory wasn't an easy one but some expert driving and determination got it done yesterday at Silverstone.

The British Grand Prix started off in horror, as Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu's car was flipped upside down and slid into the tire wall, only for it to flip up in the air again and wedge itself between the tires and the crash fence. It was a truly terrifying crash but, thankfully, he was fine. However, the crash did change the outcome of the race because it happened before the first corner of the first lap, which forced officials to restart the race from the original starting positions. That meant that Red Bull driver Max Verstappen's quick first start, to jump ahead of Sainz in pole position, was negated. As was Lewis Hamilton's start, after he brilliant exploited a gap and jumped from fifth to third place in a flash. Though, Mercedes' George Russell was even more frustrated than either driver, as he was robbed of a restart following the crash.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: George Russell of Mercedes and Great Britain calls for help after his crash with Guanyu Zhou of Alfa Romeo and China during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 03, 2022 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

Russell's car was involved in Guanyu's aforementioned crash, as he was initially clipped by AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, which caused him to then clip Guanyu's Alfa Romeo, thus causing the crash. However, Russell's car was fine afterward, suffering only a punctured tire. After his car came to a stop, following the crash, Russell immediately jumped out of the car and ran over to the tire barrier to check on Guanyu. Unfortunately, because he left the car, and it had to be put on a flatbed to be taken off the track, Russell wasn't allowed back in the race, even though both he and his car were still capable of continuing, thus handing him his first-ever lap-one DNF (Did Not Finish). Apparently, if a driver's car is assisted off the track, they're out of the race.

Despite having his excellent initial start negated by the restart, Lewis Hamilton was able to fight his way to a podium finish in third place. He was locked in an intense battle for third in the final laps, with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc but was able to expertly keep the Ferrari off of his tail. Most of the world was rooting for Hamilton to win his home GP, especially after the ugly racist remarks made toward him earlier in the week, but a podium finish was enough to earn him some much needed points.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 leads Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari F1-75 during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 03, 2022 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Second place went to Red Bull's Sergio Perez, who managed to somehow fight all the way back from last place. In lap five, Perez's car suffered damage, which forced him to pit for repairs. Following that pit stop, he emerged in last place and yet he was able to fight his way back to finish second.

In the end, though, it was Sainz who took home the win, despite Ferrari's best efforts. In lap 31, while leading the race, Sainz was instructed to let his teammate Chares Leclerc pass him. Then, during lap 38, with Leclerc leading and Sainz right behind him, Sainz was told to save fuel, an obvious attempt to hand Leclerc the win, and Sainz was audibly frustrated over the radio. However, a safety car was called and Sainz was told to give Leclerc ten car lengths following the restart, to which he ultimately told his team no. After the safety car was over, in lap 43, Leclerc went wide and off the track, allowing Sainz to take a lead he wouldn't give up.