Sainz battles through chaotic British GP to claim first F1 victory


Carlos Sainz took his first race victory at a chaotic British Grand Prix, leading Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton to the podium.

With a record-breaking crowd at Silverstone this weekend, Formula 1 knew it had to deliver a thrilling show to the British crowd, as the threat of rain loomed in Buckinghamshire.

As the race got underway, contact between George Russell and Zhou Guanyu left the Alfa Romeo upside down, skidding off of the circuit before jumping over the barriers and into the catch fencing.

More chaos was seen further behind as Alex Albon and Sebastian Vettel collided, leaving several cars with damage. These crashes brought out the red flag, while marshals were forced to remove protesters from the track.

Finally, the race was resumed with the starting grid order, as Sainz was able to keep the lead while Verstappen fought off Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez who was then forced to pit due to damage.

Verstappen would pressure Sainz into a mistake at Becketts, taking the lead on lap ten before a puncture two laps later left him with bodywork damage and out of the fight for the win.

Lewis Hamilton now smelt blood, hunting down the leading Ferraris who squabbled over the radio about race strategy. Sainz would make the first stop, opting for the hard tyre on lap 20, with Leclerc waiting five laps to respond.

Ferrari allowed their drivers to fight, holding each other up. Eventually, Leclerc would be let past, chasing down the leader until lap 34, where he would undergo a slow stop.

On lap 39, a mechanical failure for Ocon left the Frenchman stranded on the entrance to Copse, bringing out the safety car. Sainz and Hamilton pitted, while Leclerc continued on.

The race restarted with ten laps remaining. The two Ferraris began to battle, with Sainz re-taking the lead as Perez snatched third from Hamilton.

A battle ensued between Leclerc, Hamilton and Perez like three heavy-weights trading blows. Perez and Hamilton would break past while Leclerc was forced to defend from Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris.

After chaotic scenes, and seven years of waiting, Sainz would win his first race, leading home Perez and Hamilton who crossed the line to the roars of the crowd.

Speaking about his first race win, Sainz said:

“I don’t know what to say. It’s amazing. It’s a very special day that I will never forget.”

While Sainz celebrated, Leclerc was seen to be lectured by team principal Mattia Binotto, presumably after the Monegasque’s criticism of the team’s race over his radio.

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