Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2022

Sainz seizes his chance for first win as rivals luck out on day of drama

2022 British Grand Prix review

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On the back of every single one of the over 400,000 tickets issued to fans across fourth days of activity for the 2022 British Grand Prix, the three most important yet most regularly overlooked words are ‘motorsport is dangerous’.

While the over 140,000 fans in attendance around the Silverstone circuit went home thoroughly thrilled by one of the most dramatic and eventful races of the season, they were also relieved none of the day’s three major incidents resulted in serious injury.

Hours before the grand prix began a horrific crash occured in the Formula 2 feature race involving Roy Nissany and Dennis Hauger. Then moments into the main event Zhou Guanyu was flipped over a barrier while at the same time a group of environmental protesters put thmselves and others in serious danger by venturing onto a live race track.

Thankfully, the overriding emotions of the day for most in the stands will be joyful – a remarkable race with a first-time winner will always live long in the memory. But the thousands in attendance and millions watching around the world should be under no illusions how close Formula 1 came to disaster on a summer Sunday in Silverstone.

Over two hours before Carlos Sainz Jnr raised the famous gold Royal Automobile Club trophy after soaking in the Spanish national anthem booming out of the podium speakers, the Ferrari driver had sat nervously on the grid, facing the prospect of starting from pole position on a Formula 1 grid for the very first time. If the pressure of knowing this was his best ever opportunity to finally win his first grand prix at the 150th time of asking was not enough as it was, seeing the Red Bull mechanics in his mirrors peel off the tyre blankets on Max Verstappen’s car alongside him to reveal red marked soft tyres would have only made him even more nervous.

Thankfully, the rain had stayed away on Sunday. Rays of sunshine appeared through cloudy skies as the field formed up on the grid, Sainz eager to beat his former Toro Rosso team mate in the short sprint to Abbey. However, when the lights went out, Verstappen’s soft tyres proved an inspired choice as the Red Bull shot out of the blocks so fast that Sainz could only stare at his rear wing as they rounded the right hander.

Race start, Silverstone, 2022
A squeeze in the pack tipped Zhou into a horrifying roll
Back in the pack, George Russell had started the race on hard tyres, but pulled away so slowly off the line he may as well have been towing a caravan from the rear axle of his Mercedes. As he edged left to take the racing line for Abbey, he unknowingly pinched Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri between his car and Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo. The contact sent Russell spinning to the left and into the rookie’s car.

What resulted was one of the ugliest accidents in recent memory, Zhou sent skidding upside down with his helmet millimetres from scraping along the asphalt before flipping over the tyre barrier and into the catch fencing, sending spectators in the front rows of ‘The View’ grandstand scattering in panic. Russell was out on the spot, but Gasly managed to continue with a heavily damaged car.

Behind them, a second accident saw Sebastian Vettel inadvertently punt Alexander Albon into the pit wall, sending the Williams clattering into Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and leaving Yuki Tsunoda nowhere to go. In all, seven separate cars had been involved in the two shunts barely 14 seconds into the grand prix. A further seven seconds later, the race was officially stopped.

As the field slowed to a crawl along the Wellington Straight, a small troupe of orange-clad protesters walked out over the grass and proceeded to sit on the track, forming an unlikely obstacle for Ocon and Tsunoda to navigate around in their battered and broken machines. Thankfully, for the drivers, the marshals and the protesters themselves, the race had already been neutralised, minimising both the disruption to the race and the risk to safety for all involved.

Nearly one hour later, the drivers and fans had finally rediscovered their appetite for racing after it was confirmed that Zhou, Russell and Albon were fundamentally safe and well – though the Williams driver had been transported to hospital for precautionary checks. As so many of the field had not reached the second Safety Car line by the time the red flags were flown, the restart would take place in original grid order. Sainz had a second chance to keep his lead.

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Having caught Ferrari off-guard at the initial start on soft tyres, Red Bull opted not to try the same trick twice at the restart. Instead, all the top seven starters bolted on mediums.

As the lights extinguished for a second time, Sainz again got away second best. This time, however, he managed to squeeze the Red Bull to the inside as the pair rounded Abbey, forcing Verstappen over the kerbs which cost him enough momentum to prevent him taking the lead for a second time. Behind, Sergio Perez had snuck his way past Charles Leclerc and was looking to the inside of his team mate at Village, before suddenly finding Leclerc’s Ferrari to his inside heading into The Loop.

Race start, Silverstone, 2022
Sainz had to be aggressive to hold off Verstappen at the restart
All four ran side-by-side around the tight left-hander, Perez clipped Sainz lightly but Leclerc bounced into the Red Bull, causing various parts of front wing to fly all over the place. Leclerc tucked into Verstappen’s slipstream and attempted to drive around the outside of the championship leader at Brooklands, but found himself being rudely rebuffed on the exit of the corner. Rounding Woodcote for the first time, a piece of Ferrari front wing fell off Leclerc’s car and was obliterated by Perez, causing more of his own wing to come off through Maggotts.

The result of all this mayhem was that Sainz retained the lead, with Verstappen second, Leclerc third and Perez fourth, with Lando Norris’s McLaren running in fifth ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in sixth. But of the four leaders, it was Perez who seemed to come out of the melee the worse for wear.

“I have some vibrations,” Perez warned his team as the three ahead of him started to pull away at an alarming rate. “And a lot of understeer.”

Red Bull did not like what they saw on the data and called Perez in at the end of lap five for a new front wing and another set of medium tyres, dropping him to the very back of the field. With no Perez ahead of him to hitch DRS from, Norris was a sitting duck as Hamilton breezed by the McLaren on the Wellington Straight and up into fourth place.

At the front, Sainz had done the hard part of holding onto the lead at the start. Now, he had to stay there. The problem was, Verstappen was matching the leader’s lap times and got comfortably within DRS range of the Ferrari, allowing him to loom large in Sainz’s mirrors.

As Verstappen studied Sainz from his slipstream, pondering how best to attack, he suddenly saw the Ferrari twitch through Becketts, sending Sainz wide and over the inside run-off at Chapel. Verstappen needed no further invitation and swept around the outside and into the lead along the Hangar Straight.

“I had understeer,” Sainz explained matter-of-factly over the radio. “I pushed too much.”

(L to R): Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly, Silverstone, 2022
The AlphaTauri clash ruined Verstappen’s race
Further back, an intense battle was brewing between the AlphaTauris of Gasly and Tsunoda over seventh place. Tsunoda appeared to be faster than his more experienced team mate and the pair ran side-by-side through Stowe, with Gasly successfully fending Tsunoda off. But as he pulled to the inside at Village, Tsunoda lost the rear of his car and hit Gasly, sending both skidding into the run-off and facing the wrong way.

As the pair righted themselves and resumed the race, dropping positions as well as carbon fibre on the circuit, a large chunk fell off one of the afflicted AlphTauris on the exit of Aintree. Sebastian Vettel drove around the debris through sheer luck, but 40 seconds later, the piece was sitting right in the path of the race leader.

“I ran over a bit of carbon,” Verstappen alerted his Red Bull team. “Just keep checking the car.”

Unbeknownst to Verstappen, the shard of AlphaTauri was stuck in his floor. The impact on his handling was instant.

“My tyres are not lovely… I think I have a puncture or something,” Verstappen hypothesised as Sainz suddenly began to close on him. Driving around Chapel, Verstappen had lost enough speed to allow Sainz to use DRS down the Hangar Straight and retake the lead almost as easily as he had given it away.

“Puncture! Mate, I need to box,” Verstappen insisted and Red Bull obliged, bringing him in for another set of mediums. But the fresh rubber was not the solution to the problem, Verstappen admitting that his car was “still not good” as he struggled to get back up to speed now down in sixth position.

Out of nowhere, Ferrari had suddenly found themselves with both cars leading the race and Red Bull nowhere to be seen. However, Hamilton was in clear air in third place and over the next eight laps began slowly eating up the six-second gap that the Ferraris held over him. By lap 20, Hamilton was around 3.5 seconds away from Sainz and Ferrari chose to bring the leader in for his first stop at the end of the lap, rejoining in third place now almost 20 seconds behind his team mate on new hard tyres.

Despite the benefit of new tyres, Sainz struggled to beat the Mercedes for pace, Hamilton matching and even putting in better lap times than Sainz on his over 20-lap-old mediums. Leclerc also could not drop the Mercedes with clear air and when Ferrari eventually pitted Leclerc at the end of lap 25, he re-emerged a full two seconds behind Sainz in third place.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2022
Hamilton’s hot pace caused headaches for Ferrari
Hamilton had only surrendered about two seconds himself to Sainz since the former leader had pitted and he insisted that his medium tyres were “still quite good”, eventually starting to grow the gap back out gradually. Leclerc, stuck in third place behind his team mate, was beginning to get nervous about the Mercedes’ advantage.

“So target lap time for Sainz is a 1’32.2,” Leclerc was told by engineer Xavier Marcos Padros, “otherwise we’ll swap.”

“But we are losing time compared to Hamilton,” Leclerc pleaded. “A ’32.2 is not enough – in my opinion”.

Eventually, Ferrari granted Leclerc his wish and told Sainz to move over for his team mate along the Wellington Straight on lap 31. Set a target of a 1’32.2, Leclerc began lapping within the 1’31s and started chipping away at Hamilton’s advantage, making his inevitable lead seem more secure with every sector.

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With Leclerc now going fast enough to make it impossible for Hamilton to remain ahead when he pitted, Mercedes decided to pit the leader at the end of lap 33. Unfortunately for Hamilton, any slim chance of challenging the Ferraris out of the pits evaporated when a slow stop guaranteed that he would rejoin firmly behind the pair.

“How did we lose so much time to these guys?,” Hamilton asked, confused. “Bono, why am I so far behind?”

“Yeah, so the stop was slow,” Peter Bonnington eventually replied. “But once these tyres come in, we will have good pace.” And so it proved when, on lap 37, Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race up to that stage to pull to six second behind leader Leclerc.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2022
Ferrari opted not to pit Leclerc under Safety Car
Down in ninth, Verstappen was continuing to battle the effects of the debris still trapped in his car, losing eighth to Ocon. However, Verstappen suddenly regained the position on lap 39 when the Alpine began juddering through the first sector.

“I have a problem, guys!,” Ocon reported. “Yeah, I have a problem! I can’t exit the corners.”

A fuel pump problem was ending Ocon’s race, but with no inside run-off to pull on to at Copse, Ocon parked his Alpine on the inside of the circuit, essentially guaranteeing proceedings would be disrupted. By the time the Alpine had ground to a complete stop, Leclerc was making his way though Maggotts.

“Safety Car window is closed,” Marcos Padros warned his driver as he headed down the Hangar Straight.

“And VSC too?,” Leclerc enquired just seconds before hitting the brakes for Stowe, with the Safety Car deployed as he exited the turn.

“Yes, closed. Stay out. Stay out,” came the unambiguous order from Ferrari. Meanwhile, having told Leclerc to stay out, Sainz was instead called in from second place to make the switch to softs tyres.

Hamilton too, was in his Safety Car window and Mercedes did not hesitate to bring their sole remaining car into the pits, moving him onto the softs. However Hamilton did not seem fully confident in his team’s strategy at first.

“Ah, guys… are you sure this is the right tyre?,” he queried. “So no position loss,” Bonnington offered in response.

The gap to the cars behind left a gaping hole for Ferrari and Mercedes to pit into. Having been left out with his two closest rivals behind him on new, soft tyres, Leclerc’s intuition flared up.

“Wait, can we box, or is it too late now?,” questioned Leclerc.

“It’s too late now,” replied Marcos Padros. “So Sainz and Hamilton behind with new softs.”

“Copy. That’s going to be hard,” Leclerc assessed as he saw his two chasers cruise up behind him on very new, very fast tyres.

Ferrari asked Sainz to give Leclerc a gap of “10 car lengths” for the restart, but Sainz refused. Partly to avoid having to face the intense pressure of Hamilton and Perez now behind him, but also because in his own mind, Leclerc and the race lead were there for the taking.

“I knew I was going to pass him, 100%,” Sainz later explained after the race. “I just wanted to do it as cleanly as possible and without affecting his race.”

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Sainz’s gut instinct was proven correct when the race restarted at the start of lap 43. With his grippier tyres getting up to temperature far quicker than his team mate’s old hards, Sainz used his vastly superior traction out of The Loop to out-drag his team mate before reaching Aintree and takinfg the lead of the race.

(L to R): Sergio Perez, Red Bull; Charles Leclerc, Ferrari; Silverstone, 2022
Leclerc fought hard to keep rivals behind him
Behind, Perez muscled past Hamilton for third while Leclerc struggled to match his team mate on old, cold hard tyres. When DRS was enabled on lap 45, Perez immediately began pressuring Leclerc, the two running inches apart through Stowe together before almost colliding at Club when Perez dived to the inside, sending Leclerc wide on exit and allowing Hamilton to slide by the pair of them and up into second place.

Perez fought back into Village and took back second with an aggressive lunge as Leclerc tried to follow the Red Bull through, getting ahead of Hamilton with the better exit out of the tight left hander. Leclerc then fended off the Mercedes through Luffield, leaving Hamilton vulnerable to an attack from Alonso’s Alpine.

But Hamilton was not through with his pursuit of a podium and pulled along the outside of Leclerc into Brooklands on the next lap, before switching positions in an effort to drive clean around the outside of the Ferrari at Luffield. It appeared to have worked, but Leclerc refused to give up on the final podium place and took back third once more with a jaw-dropping move around the outside of Copse. Ultimately, Hamilton took the place permanently along the Hangar Straight by using DRS to drive around the Ferrari and, this time, Leclerc could offer up no answer.

All this squabbling behind had been perfect for Sainz. He opened up a gap of three seconds to the chasing Red Bull, who also appeared to have the measure of Hamilton behind him. Entering the final lap, Sainz pushed with all he had to try and secure fastest lap honours on top of his pole position and what was now looking certainly like his firs win. However, Hamilton had other ideas.

Not that it mattered too much to Sainz. After 150 grands prix and ten podiums, Sainz rounded Club for the last time and took the chequered flag to finally join the elite club of Formula 1 race winners.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2022
Sainz finally secured a long overdue win
“We did it!,” he shouted, the relief physically washing over his body in the cockpit. “Yes! We did it! Yes! Vamos!”

After a tumultuous start to the season, this moment may have felt all the sweeter for it. “My first race win in Formula 1… and with Ferrari – you cannot imagine how it feels,” he continued over radio. “And in Silverstone!”

However, while one Ferrari driver was ecstatic, the other was keen for answers having once again been left to miss out after a controversial strategy call on the Ferrari pit wall.

“The amount of race time that we have lost in this race… oh my God!,” an exasperated Leclerc exhaled.

“The only good thing about today is that Carlos won, but friggin’ hell… Anyway – enjoy the victory.”

For Perez, second place must have seemed like an impossible result after his early wing replacement.

(L to R): Sergio Perez, Red Bull; Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes; Silverstone, 2022
Perez took second despite an early wing change
“We got lucky with the Safety Car there at the end, which gave us a good opportunity to fight for the podium,” Perez admitted. ”Those final laps were such a great fight with Lewis. It has been so long since we had a good fight, so I was ready to have him back.”

Hamilton had taken a second consecutive podium, but the trophy was perhaps a secondary reward after Mercedes showed they might finally be able to take the fight to Red Bull and Ferrari at high speed circuits.

“I think it’s hugely encouraging that we were in the fight,” said Hamilton. “For a good period of time, I was matching the Ferraris’ pace, and even better at some stages.

“I don’t think we’re in a winning position yet. But we’re not far away.”

Alonso claimed fifth and, with it, ‘best of the rest’ honours for this weekend, while Norris brought home solid points in sixth after a relatively anonymous afternoon. Verstappen was delighted with six points after driving a compromised car for the vast majority of the car, while Mick Schumacher was the most relieved driver in the paddock having finally broken his point-less streak over 30 races into his F1 career. Vettel and Magnussen completed the points as the final two top ten finishers – an unlikely prospect after their Q1 exit on Saturday afternoon.

Seeing Sainz finally climb atop the podium for the first time in his career certainly was a popular sight for many of the thousands who stormed the track after chequered flags to watch the celebrations up close. But perhaps the best scene of the afternoon was not Sainz beaming with his winner’s trophy, not Vettel embracing Schumacher in parc ferme to congratulate him on his first points and nor was it Hamilton celebrating yet another home podium. Instead, it was seeing Zhou Guanyu walking freely around the paddock after the race having been declared fit and well after medical evaluation.

The British Grand Prix had done what it has so often done in years gone by and helped to make the championship picture more intriguing than when the paddock had arrived at Silverstone, but it had again provided a visceral reminder of how danger is never lurking far away in Formula 1. Fortunately, the biggest British crowd in history had not only enjoyed a spectacular event but, more importantly, seen no serious injuries to competitors, marshals or spectators.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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32 comments on “Sainz seizes his chance for first win as rivals luck out on day of drama”

  1. The best race of hybrid era. Too many to talk about, so I’m going to comment on Ferraris.

    I still didn’t understand why Binotto didn’t order double pit stop when there’s 4.3 sec gap (some point out it was 9.1).

    But this is not the first time Carlos rejected team strategy and can assured his team that those were better ones in a few seconds.

    I’ve said before that Charles was too nice a driver. He’s lacking ruthlessness of a world champion. Schumi was a good pal of Todt, but Charles is just a good poster boy.

    1. there’s 4.3 sec gap (some point out it was 9.1)

      I think this is due to the cars going slower with the same physical gap (thus bigger time gap).

      PS it’s wrong to state that the cars lose less time under VSC (or SC before queueing up). The time lost when pitting is still 19s (for Silverstone) but the on track time gaps between cars are more, and those 19s lost become 9-10s when you’re at full speed again.

    2. @ruliemaulana Better than Hockenheim 2019?

      1. I would say Hungary 2021 was the best race of the hybrid era, with Canada 2014 probably second and then maybe Sakhir 2020. But Silverstone 2022 was certainly up there as one of the best races of the last decade.

        1. I’d say hockenheim 2019 was better than any of them.

    3. Ferrari didn’t let their drivers race. They let them debate.
      “Hey I’m faster, let me through”, “Yeah but I don’t have DRS and I’m managing tyres, I can go faster but that’s bad for our total race time.”, “I can go faster without harming the tyres, you are just too slow, you are ruining my race!”, “Okay I will speed up and ruin my tyres to show you I can go faster, but you still have DRS.”, “Okay luckily now we are on different strategies so we don’t have to do this debate anymore.”, “Hey, I have a small engine problem, can you give me DRS off the back of you, so we can both extend our leads?”, “No, if you want DRS you have to earn it by going faster than me.”

      Up to that point, Leclerc had won the debate, but Ferrari’s decision to continue the split strategies on the Safety Car gave Sainz the chance to give his closing argument, winning him the ̶d̶e̶b̶a̶t̶e̶ race.

      The Ferrari strategy was not even that bad. Their whole idea was to let Sainz on new softs fend off the cars behind to let Leclerc take the win ahead: keep guaranteed track position with Leclerc on older tyres perfectly capable of doing the remaining laps (as long as you don’t have to defend hard). However, Sainz wasn’t going to let his boss take this win away from him, so Leclerc then fell pray to all the better equipped cars behind. Sainz could have even delayed overtaking Leclerc until the last lap, to play nice for the team, but he wanted a secure win for himself, not the best team result.

      Even though a double stack was the better call, if Sainz has played his role, it was still a Ferrari 1-2 in the making. This is what you get when you don’t stand above your drivers as team manager: Sainz did the perfect job of debating his way into not leaving 10 car lengths at the SC restart and claiming his right to overtake Leclerc. The problem was that by the time the debate had reached its conclusion, it was too late to pit Leclerc for softs to better fight off the competitors in this new reality Sainz had created for the team. That is why you need to do debates ahead of the race, and team orders during the race.

      1. It was indeed rather bad to hear the team have no clue, no strategy, no leadership.

        Given the importance of the tyres, it makes no sense to have one driver ruin his whilst stuck behind his teammate. Especially if that means the team loses the opportunity to create a gap large enough to fix a broken front wing. Ferrari could have easily swapped the cars the second Leclerc was held up, let him build a gap, pit him and fix the front wing, and even if they wanted to then gift the win to Sainz (which seems like a bad idea, but besides the point) they could have done so on lap 52.

        The example for Binotto and his team should not be Domenicali, but Todt.

      2. Their whole idea was to let Sainz on new softs fend off the cars behind to let Leclerc take the win ahead: keep guaranteed track position with Leclerc on older tyres perfectly capable of doing the remaining laps (as long as you don’t have to defend hard). However, Sainz wasn’t going to let his boss take this win away from him, so Leclerc then fell pray to all the better equipped cars behind. Sainz could have even delayed overtaking Leclerc until the last lap, to play nice for the team, but he wanted a secure win for himself, not the best team result.

        This is my (final) understanding of what happened too. So, basically SAI was the ”liability” of their strategy. He’s not a team player for sure, he did not want to play 2nd to LEC and lose the chance of taking his maiden win OR even risk it by defending LEC for some laps (then pass him for the win). Since SAI is not champ material for sure, not a team player either… they should get rid of him as soon as possible, maybe even this year. I think RIC, K-Mag or even ALO would hapily jump into the 2nd Ferrari and do a better job overall than SAI. He’s more and more like BAR: barely performing even when the car is great (but not dominant), very vocal every time the team asks something from him (even when asked to swap places when they’re not on podium positions) and puts the team in a delicate situation in the public view.

        1. How could you two defend irrational strategy? There’s no way Carlos could survive Checo and Lewis if he drives slower than Charles.

          1. The point is that if Sainz, Hamilton and Perez are battling on track, Leclerc will easily be doing faster laps than all of the other cars fighting for 2nd behind. Leclerc had tyres to do the remaining laps in decent pace, he did not however have tyres to keep anyone behind in a fight, Sainz did, but he wasn’t interested.

            It’s not about who can do what lap time theoretically and compare the numbers. It’s about who can pass another car and who can keep somebody else behind. Perez, Verstappen and Alonso sure know how to do defend, even with a worse car / tyres. Sainz arguably had the best car here AND track position! He can back them up, he just didn’t want to.

      3. @sihrtogg the only thing that was going to happen if Sainz tried to stay behind Leclerc is he’d have been mugged by Hamilton and Perez, who then would have easily beaten Leclerc too. Once the call had been made to pit Sainz and not Leclerc during the safety car, then the only realistic way for a Ferrari to win was for Sainz to strike early and drive off into the distance, which is exactly what he did. Ferrari’s strategies are very justifiably criticised, but what deserves criticism in this instance is even considering telling Sainz to act as rear gunner in the first place, not the fact they didn’t enforce that role on him.

        1. @TFLB That’s the storyline Sainz wanted his team to believe, when he displayed his best debating skills during the safety car period. He sold this idea rather well to them, and to you.

  2. Zhou Guanyu’s accident was very nasty, it reminded me of this BTCC crash at Donington for Kieth O’Dor in 1992, where the car flipped over the fence, and if that had happened this year spectators could have been killed. But I remember reading an article after Monaco 2011 about the safety improvements, which ended ‘when people say, ‘lucky escape for Perez and Petrov’, in reality luck had very little to do with it.’

    Also, Carlos Sainz may have won the race, but Charles Leclerc was particularly impressive this weekend. He was faster than Sainz despite the front wing damage, and would surely have won without the safety car, but even after that he defended brilliantly and that pass around the outside of Hamilton at Copse was outstanding. Leclerc was my Driver of the Weekend.

    And shout-out to Mick Schumacher for his first points, and to Nicholas Latifi for his best drive in Formula 1, running in the top ten for most of the race.

    I think this race reinforced my view that Silverstone is the best track on the calendar, as racing that good surely couldn’t happen on any other track. It comes behind Spa, Suzuka and Monaco for excitement to watch a qualifying lap but is far better for racing than the aforementioned three.

    1. Leclerc was my Driver of the Weekend

      He is still the one who ruined his quali when it counted.
      I rated both Hamilton’s (and maybe even Verstappen’s*) weekend higher than Leclerc’s.
      Difficult to rate how well Mick drove over the whole weekend; I did like his final stint though.

      * his quali mistake was less important as he had still time left. I didn’t like his over aggressive defending in the end though.

    2. @f1frog He ruined his own qualifying, blundered into Perez at the restart and almost ruined both of their races (and was rather lucky not to get a 5-second penalty, probably) and spent too much time moaning on the radio. He couldn’t overtake by himself, and once he was let through Sainz stayed in DRS range until told to save fuel. Yes, his defence after the safety car was excellent for the most part, but it wasn’t a particularly stand-out performance.

  3. I m curious to know what rating Sainz will get for this race on this site. He won but until the last 10 laps he made a terrible impression. Maybe not much higher than a 5?

    1. @grapmg he had a bad Sunday, in my book. Ferrari strategists had a worse day still. leclerc was super impressive in the race and he was thoroughly let down by his team. Maybe he could have taken matters into his own hands and just pulled into the pits under the safety car but knowing Ferrari they would have given him the wrong tyres, or something. Had they swapped the cars earlier in the race, they would have naturally had a big enough gap to double-stack, which they probably could have done anyway (even if Sainz had lost out to Hamilton, they’d have still made a 1-3, with their title leading driver benefiting most).

      1. @frood19 Ferrari did it again Leclerc must be so frustrated. The call to Sainz to keep 10 cars behind made the soap drama complete.

    2. Sainz race summary:
      – loses the first start;
      – fumbles the lead after the second start;
      – goes slow enough to expose both cars to HAM attack.

      1. Yeah, Sainz was probably the 5th fastest car there. pretty poor performance.

  4. Of all the races Sainz was close to win, this one was probably the less deserving on pace. A lot had to happen for the race to come his way. From the second chance to defend his pole position, to Verstappen’s woes, Charles damaged car, Perez early stop, Hamilton’s soft tyre pace, the late SC letting him off the hook with fuel saving….

    But it also showed what a strong character he is inside the cockpit. For all Ferrari’s indecisions, Sainz comes across as very sure of himself inside the car. The way he talks to the team and a lot of the times dismiss their suggestions or instructions is remarkable. It happened in Monaco, it happened yesterday. It also happened at McLaren.

    And thinking about it, I don’t think Charles has that characteristic… he seems to rely on them a lot more. Trusting them. Which given Ferrari’s recent record, might be the biggest mistake he’s done so far…

    1. It also showed what a strong character he is inside the cockpit. For all Ferrari’s indecisions, Sainz comes across as very sure of himself inside the car. The way he talks to the team and a lot of the times dismiss their suggestions or instructions is remarkable. It happened in Monaco, it happened yesterday. It also happened at McLaren.

      It is good that you mention this. I thought about this myself yesterday. He makes his own luck with strong, confident decisions. It cannot be a coincidence when it happens frequently.

    2. I agree with this, this might be the only thing sainz has on leclerc.

  5. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    4th July 2022, 11:49

    The one thing that was certain is that Perez had to pit else he would of been a pitstop behind.

    The Ferraris had the speed to overtake the Merc and I doubt after what has happened in previous races are MB going to not pit when offered a chance. That would of potentially left Carlos in 3rd at worst.

  6. I was surprised that it was Sainz’s 150th race. It doesn’t seem that long ago that a hundred races was considered a long career. With fewer drivers on the grid than years past, I’d have expected the chances of any driver winning to increase slightly, but also for it to be harder to maintain a seat in F1. I suppose a factor against that is that there are more races per season, and in the past 20 years, most seasons have been dominated by just a handful of drivers that season, so it is probably harder to win now than it was in the 1990s. Brundle, for example, had 165 races in his whole career and I think his best result was second, but that was over a span of 13 seasons, compared to Sainz who is only in his 8th season in F1, so number of seasons before first win may be a more meaningful stat than number of races.

  7. Very sketchy racecraft by Sainz. Lucked into almost everything both qualifying and race. When someone is both very aggressive and very slow, well it’s gonna leave a bad taste afterward. Verstappen won’t forget that squeeze towards the wall at the start. Ferrari drivers were super aggressive at the start of this race. Redbull drivers were aggressive at the end though.

    Lewis deserved the win the most from the top 3 in my book. A slow pitstop with a sketchy tire choice(hard) cost him plus Perez ran him way off the track at a crucial moment. The cleanest driver from the top 4. He shouldn’t have made the comment about last year’s copse though after the race. Leclerc followed an identical line to Verstappen last year.

    Positives for Sainz is that he won despite obeying team orders, I guess? Can’t really see much value in it.

    1. This cars can handle high speed corners much beter then cars of last year so Lewis could hold his line while last year he oversteer into Max.

    2. Positives for Sainz is that he won despite obeying team orders, I guess? Can’t really see much value in it.

      Oh please, he barely obeyed the orders many laps later, after being told multiple times to pick up his pace ’cause HAM is getting closer with every lap passed. I hardly believe he would have let LEC in front if nobody would have threatened their 1-2 positions. So, by letting LEC in front after many laps and when another driver threatens their positions, it’s more like bailing out of a possible sole responsability of a complete failure for the team rather than being a no.2, team player etc.

      1. Yeah i remember he closed the door on Leclerc in big straight to let him go in the other straight. It was all very bad from Ferrari because while i think Sainz not behaved well, it is the team that is mostly at fault regarding this.
        To not even talk about the SC dumbness.

  8. Maybe Russell was taking that caravan for his Ma.

    In retrospect Hamilton’s shocking final restart could have cost him the win. If he got to hangar straight before Perez he was immediately through into second and then hunting Sainz, whom we know was slower and prone to nerves under pressure. Ifs and buts.

    1. Yeah, who knows… Thing is, once PER and HAM passed LEC, they weren’t really reducing the gap to SAI. So, I’d say there’re little chances SAI would have lost his position to PER or HAM. Between PER and HAM, PER looked like the more “dangerous” one, simply because he has a better car. After all, he even passed HAM on track fair and square.

  9. Had the disruption / protest happened at any other non-European circuit, quite a few folks on this site would have already gone with the “this would never have happened in the civilised world” undertone comments. Frankly, I am shocked there hasn’t been more outrage at this sort of a crazy thing.

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