As the dark clouds hovered over the Silverstone circuit, the rain never came and this gave way to a terrific Formula 1 British Grand Prix. Carlos Sainz put his Ferrari on pole for the first time in his F1 career and he managed to convert that pole into his first F1 win of his career too.
It may sound like it was a simple thing but his win was anything but simple with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull making the pass, twice, for the lead and the Ferrari bumbling the strategy call between Carlos and his teammate Charles Leclerc. A Safety Car bunched the field up with Leclerc in the lead but on old tires. It was Carlos defying his team’s request to give Charles space that saw him immediately take the lead at the restart and march to his first win and only the second Spaniard to win and F1 race. He was followed home by Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.
A huge win for Carlos Sainz who takes his first F1 win of his career. Carlos had the pace all weekend and seemed to continue his performance from Canada. Despite the team moving him over for a quicker Leclerc early on and then asking him to back Hamilton up for the restart, Carlos took the race in his own hands, defied the team’s request and took the win.
Perhaps there is no doubt Carlos wasn’t focused on maximizing Leclerc’s points in the championship but most champions aren’t interested it that either. The team initially pushed Sainz for better pace as Leclerc was quicker but asking Sainz to back up Hamilton wasn’t in the cards for the Spaniard.
A big win for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who had a damaged front wing on the first lap dropping him to the back of the grid but he put his head down and got a free pit stop during the Safety Car and as soon as I saw him slotted 4th for the restart, I reckoned it was going to be game on and it was. The Mexican immediately put pressure on Hamilton and made the pass as well as passed Leclerc to deliver a fantastic recovery drive to P2.
A big win for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes who seemed to have begun their recovery back toward the front of the grid. If Mercedes were able to give Lewis a slightly improved car, the 7-time champ was going to over deliver for sure and he did! A great drive knocking on the door of a podium and even a possible win had the strategy worked out slightly differently. Even with out a win, the momentum is a great sign for both Lewis and Mercedes.
A big win for Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris for their 5th and 6th respectively. Both Alpine and McLaren were neck and neck this weekend fighting for best-of-the-rest and Fernando’s 5th place was a clear example that if the car is there, much like Lewis, Fernando will over deliver. I also enjoyed Fernando ribbing the stewards about Leclerc’s weaving. For Lando, he was there all day long and buoyed by an adoring British crowd, he raced hard for a terrific result for the home team.
A win for the HALO by protecting a young driver in the junior series as well as Alfa Romeo’s Zho Guanyu in his massive impact into the tire barrier and catch fencing. As much as I like the HALO and the injuries it clearly has prevented, I am still concerned about the time it takes for extrication in crashes where the car is upside down or up against a barrier like Zho’s was. I would like to see a continuing effort in the design and usage of the HALO to improve it in those situations.
A win for Haas and specifically Mick Schumacher who scored his first F1 points. The team needed a good result and a dual-points finish was a great result.
A fail for Red Bull and Max Verstappen who looked to have the race in hand but suffered from a damaged floor that amazingly and instantly hobbled his car’s performance. It was interesting to see just how much performance was lost with damage we couldn’t readily see on the underfloor. Apparently it was damage to one of the Venturi tunnels under the car.
A fail for Ferrari who failed to stack their car stops during the Safety Car in order to protect Charles and Carlos from an attacking Hamilton, or as it turns out Perez, and this left Charles out on worn Hard compound tires and a bit of a sitting duck for Sainz, Perez and Hamilton. The team lost so much time in Leclerc’s race that it is hard to see how the young Monegasque could be remotely happy. The reality is, Max wasn’t winning this race and this was the time for Leclerc to harvest big gains and the team denied him that.
A WTH moment for protestors who decided to storm the track at the start and try to disrupt the race. Thankfully it failed as the race was immediately red flagged giving the police ample time to arrest seven of them. The irresponsible nature of their efforts completely marginalized whatever cause they were promoting and perhaps it was fate that the race was red flagged so the stupid act was thwarted. You have. Point, make it. But like the Belgian grand prix from several years ago, putting fans, drivers, marshals and more at sever risk is irresponsible and base behavior.
The Pirelli Tire Story:
- The British Grand Prix was won by Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz from pole – but that only tells half the story. The race was restarted after a red flag on lap one, with all but two drivers (McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo) changing tyres.
- The timing of a safety car in the closing stages of the race was another pivotal moment. It came at just the right time for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who recovered to second place after a poor start, but disadvantaged Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who stayed out on well-used P Zero White hard tyres and slipped down to fourth. Leclerc was in the lead at the re-start, but was passed by Sainz, Perez, and Hamilton on new P Zero Red soft tyres in the closing stages.
- All three compounds played a key role, with hard, P Zero Yellow medium, and soft seen on the original starting grid. There were three different strategies used by the top four, contributing to some breath-taking battles all the way down the field.
- Among those duels was a fight that went down to the last corner for seventh place between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Haas driver Mick Schumacher – with the latter scoring his first Formula 1 world championship points today.
|Pos||Name||Car||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|1||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||52||27||1h21m20.44s||1m30.813s||3||25|
|2||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||52||0||+3.779s||1m30.937s||3||18|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||52||0||+-20m0s||1m32.354s||4||6|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||52||0||+-20m0s||1m32.471s||3||2|
|11||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||52||0||+-20m0-59s||1m32.379s||3||0|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||52||0||+-20m0-59s||1m33.832s||3||0|
|Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||25||0||DNF||1m34.614s||3||0|
|Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||19||0||DNF||1m35.103s||2||0|
|Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||0||0||DNF||0s||0||0|