Sainz delighted after breaking his duck crash-hit British Grand Prix

Home hero Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took third, to claim a record 13th podium finish on home soil

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz celebrates on the podium. (Reuters)
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz celebrates on the podium. (Reuters)

By AFP/Reuters

Published: Mon 4 Jul 2022, 12:43 AM

Carlos Sainz claimed his first Formula One victory in his 150th race on Sunday when he drove his Ferrari to a spectacular triumph in a furious and crash-hit British Grand Prix.

The 27-year-old Spaniard, starting from his maiden pole position, resisted a charging Sergio Perez of Red Bull, who recovered from 17th, to take the flag by 3.7 seconds in front of a record 142,000 crowd at the high-speed Silverstone circuit.

Home hero seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took third, to claim a record 13th podium finish on home soil, an unprecedented total by any driver at a single event.

Drawing on his fresher tyres in the closing stages, Hamilton resisted and passed Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari, who finished fourth ahead of two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Alpine and Lando Norris of McLaren.

World champion and series leader Max Verstappen finished seventh for Red Bull, recovering after picking up debris and suffering a puncture, ahead of a revitalised Mick Schumacher of Haas, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin, who had started 18th and Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas.

“I don’t know what to say,” said a beaming Sainz. “It is amazing. My first win in Formula One on my 150th race and for Ferrari at Silverstone! It’s amazing.”

Perez was also delighted. “It was a great comeback,” he said.

“We never gave up and we kept pushing. We kept trying. It was epic in some of those final laps.”

Hamilton paid tribute to the crowd, saying Silverstone was unmatched around the world for the scale and depth of enthusiasm demonstrated at the British event, which on Sunday provided stunning entertainment.

“I gave it everything today,” said Hamilton. “I tried to chase, but the Red Bull and the Ferraris were too quick on the straights.”

Verstappen remained on top of the title race with 181 points ahead of Perez on 147 and Leclerc on 138 and Sainz on 127.

After a long delay following a high-speed multi-car collision at the start of the race, which saw Zhou Guanyu make a remarkable escape after his car skidded upside down through a gravel trap, the contest re-started an hour later using the original grid order.

Three drivers were missing — Alfa Romeo’s Zhou, Williams’ Alex Albon and George Russell of Mercedes — as the lights went out and Sainz, in ferocious fighting mood, boldly resisted Verstappen to retain the lead from his maiden pole position.

Leclerc also made an aggressive start and banged wheels with Perez, who suffered front wing damage, and Verstappen before the order settled on lap five.

Hamilton, who had lost an early position to Norris, swept past him to the delight of his army of fans to regain fourth on lap six as Perez re-joined 17th at the back after a slow pit-stop.

The race was red-flagged and halted for an hour after Chinese driver Zhou’s Alfa Romeo became wedged on its side between the tyre wall and catch fence on lap one. He was later given the medical all-clear.

The car skidded at speed upside down along the track before being catapulted over the barrier following a multi-car collision.

Williams’s Albon and Mercedes’s Russell, who had previously finished every race in the top five, were also caught in the first-lap mayhem and played no further part in the afternoon.

Albon was later flown to hospital for checks.

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