By Robert Haile
A mesmerising British Grand Prix was worth the wait after being delayed.
A horror crash for Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu who was conscious and taken to the medical centre, later being released, delayed the start of the Grand Prix.
Having taken his first pole position yesterday Carlos Sainz won his first Grand Prix to claim the action packed British Grand Prix.
Maiden race winner Sainz said: “What a day. Winning my first F1 GP and with Scuderia Ferrari in front of this amazing crowd, at one of my favorite tracks, Silverstone, is literally amazing.
“Mentally it was one of the toughest races I’ve done: managing the gaps, lots of fights on track, the second start. We struggled a bit with understeer and on the second stint we had to save fuel in order to make it to the end, so the lift-and-coast put me at risk from the cars behind.
“However, as soon as the Safety Car came out, we knew it was paramount to change the tyres as mine were pretty old. At the restart, I had fresher tyres but we were fighting for a 1-2 as a team, so I tried to be as clean as possible in overtaking Charles (Leclerc).
“Thanks to the fuel saved behind the Safety Car we could then push until the end and finally I got my first win. I will enjoy it for today but we’ll immediately start working on preparing for the next one.”
At the start Max Verstappen jumped Sainz into first as a crash brought out a red flag.
Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu ended upside down and going through the gravel and over the barrier into the fence in front of the crowd.
George Russell’s Mercedes, Alex Albon’s Williams races ended with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon bringing their damaged cars back to the pits for the mechanics to work on.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton jumped into third overtaking Leclerc and Perez who dropped to sixth as Alpine’ Fernando Alonso made it into fifth.
For the restart it was original starting grid order meaning gains and losses were reversed.
This time Sainz kept the lead from Verstappen with Leclerc taking third off Perez.
On lap 10 leader Sainz made a mistake leaving the track at Becketts corner with Verstappen pouncing to take the lead.
Two laps later Verstappen slowed with a suspected puncture as both Ferrari’s passed him as he pitted, Red Bull later informed him it was a rear aerodynamic issue.
Neither Alfa Romeo finished with Valtteri Bottas retired.
Leclerc took the lead as Sainz pitted with Hamilton closing in on the Ferraris with Leclerc pitting Hamilton took the lead with Sainz 17 seconds behind in second.
A slow pit stop from Mercedes brought Hamilton out behind both Ferraris into third.
After overtaking Verstappen Alpine’s Esteban Ocon brought out the safety car stopping on the straight.
Both Sainz and Hamilton pitted putting pressure on their pit crews who performed with both coming out as they were.
At the rolling restart Leclerc kept the lead but then lost out to Sainz as Perez passed Hamilton for third.
Perez, Hamilton and Leclerc then battled with Perez taking second and Hamilton eventually taking third.
Leclerc held onto fourth with Alonso in fifth, Norris sixth and Verstappen holding off Haas’ Mick Schumacher for seventh.
Aston Martin finished ninth with Sebastian Vettel and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen taking the last point in tenth.
Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin finished eleventh, Stroll in twelfth with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Tsunoda bringing up the end of the field.
Formula One stays in Europe heading to Austria for the Austrian Grand Prix on July 8-10.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 181
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 147
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 138
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 127
- George Russell (Mercedes) – 111
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 93
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 58
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 46
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 39
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 28
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 16
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 16
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 15
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 13
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 11
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 5
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 4
- Alex Albon (Williams) – 3
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 3
- Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0
- Red Bull – 328
- Ferrari – 265
- Mercedes – 204
- McLaren – 73
- Alpine – 67
- Alfa Romeo – 51
- AlphaTauri – 27
- Haas – 20
- Aston Martin – 18
- Williams – 3