Carlos Sainz Clutches First F1 British Grand Prix Win
By: Peter Xiao
On July 3, 2022, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won his first Formula 1 race in the British Grand Prix. He finished his 52 laps around the track 3.779 seconds before second-place winner Sergio Perez.
The race started off chaotic, with a major collision between Mercedes’ George Russell and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, causing Zhou to fly off the track and into the gravel trap, ending up stuck between the catch-fencing and the barrier. The crash caused the race to be red flagged, delaying the race for an hour. Another accident also occurred, and Williams driver Alex Albon was flown to Coventry Hospital after Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel punted him to the pit wall.
The final laps were intense, with Ferrari deciding to leave Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc with his used hard tires and replacing Sainz’s tires with new soft ones at the pit stop. Mercedes followed suit by pitting Lewis Hamilton for soft tires and Red Bull did the same for Sergio Perez. The four would have a raging battle in the top four, with Leclerc defending his second place with six laps left before being forced wide by Perez at Club. Hamilton then squeezed between the two for second, but in the end, Sainz got first, Perez got second, Hamilton got third, and Leclerc got fourth.
During the 17th lap of the race, Leclerc was annoyed by Sainz’s speed, and asked his team, “What do I need to do? I am f*cking up my race,” as he was behind Sainz with Hamilton approaching fast. After the race, his team’s boss Mattia Binotto took him to the pit lane and seemed to tell him, “to be careful what he said about the way the team had run the race.” Leclerc later said that it was rather, “It was more Mattia that tried to cheer me up because I was very disappointed.”
F1 Championship leader Max Verstappen finished 7th as his car slowed down from floor damage, meaning Perez is now behind him by 34 points and Leclerc 9 points further behind.