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Unbelievable British GP | Sainz wins highly dramatic race, Hamilton P3

Unbelievable British GP | Sainz wins highly dramatic race, Hamilton P3

3 July - 17:20 Last update: 17:37
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Carlos Sainz survived a series of Ferrari blunders to win the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit. The Spaniard wins his first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix after securing his first pole position on Saturday. World Championship leader Max Verstappen lost performance after picking up floor damage. For a while, it looked like Lewis Hamilton had a chance of winning in front of his home crowd, but he lost his podium place in a phenomenal end-of-race fight. 

It was a race that can't be justified by words in a report. A late safety car created a bonkers finish where the leaderboard changed virtually every corner. Sainz opened up a lead leaving Perez, Leclerc, Hamilton and others fight for second place. Leclerc and Hamilton engaged in a brilliantly brave battle for third. Flashbacks to Hamilton and Verstappen's 2021 Silverstone battle came, but this fight ended without tears and the Brit held onto the podium place. 

Guanyu Zhou had a horrific accident on the opening lap of the race. The Chinese driver flipped over and ran across the gravel. He was then launched into the catch fence and dropped behind the tyre wall. Zhou was okay and out of the medical centre before the end of the race. Meanwhile, Alex Albon had to go to Coventry hospital after hitting the wall in the same moment. The red flag came out, and perhaps it was fortunate given protestors had made their way onto the circuit.  

For the first time this season, the two main candidates for the World Championship touched. The stewards didn't feel the need to investigate the incident. Leclerc touched Perez previously on the same lap. The Ferrar team engaged in several arguments over the team radio as both drivers felt they could push harder. 

Max Verstappen thought he had a puncture, but it turned out to be damage relating to the floor. This cost the Dutchman a lot of performance as it altered how the air flows underneath the car. He was unable to challenge for the podium. After a last-lap battle with Mick Schumacher, he finished seventh. Esteban Ocon retired and caused a safety car with 12 laps remaining. Sainz managed to overtake Leclerc for the win despite yet another scabble over the team radio. 

Ferrari had several arguments over the team radio over whether the two drivers should fight, let the other one through or pit. At the end of the race, Ferrari left Leclerc out to dry on the hard tyres and this cost him a podium and probably the race win. 

Huge accident

Carlos Sainz started his first Grand Prix from pole position after 150 attempts. Renewing their rivalry from the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago, he started alongside Max Verstappen. Charles Leclerc ensured the World Championship leader was in a Ferrari sandwich from third place with Perez starting fourth. Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris formed an all-British third row with George Russell in P8, one place behind Fernando Alonso. All three tyre compounds were on the grid to showcase the strategy confusion. None more so than the front-row where Verstappen attacked on the softs compared to Sainz's mediums. 

Verstappen beat Sainz to the first corner but the red flags were thrown immediately with a bad accident. Zhou, Gasly and Russell got caught together before the first corner. Zhou flipped upside down and ran across the gravel and into the catch fence. Doctors found it challenging to get Zhou out of the car, but confirmed he was okay and in the medical centre a short time after. As all cars were yet to reach the safety car line, the grid was reformed from the order of qualifying voiding Verstappen's overtake. The Dutchman started on the mediums for take two. 

Contact between Verstappen and Leclerc

Sainz made a much better start the second time of asking and stayed ahead of Verstappen. Leclerc touched Perez before advancing towards Verstappen. At the entrance of Luffield, Verstappen and Leclerc touched whilst fighting for second place. Perez had to pit with a broken front wing and the stewards decided not to investigate further. 

On lap 10, Sainz made an error and ran across the grass thus opening the door for Verstappen to take the lead. Just as Ferrari were trying to decide whether or not to swap their drivers, Verstappen thought he had picked up a puncture and was forced to pit into 6th place. The 2021 World Champion still experienced issues after the pitstop and Red Bull confirmed there were bodywork problems. As the Ferrari team had an argument on the radio over who should lead, Hamilton closed the gap to three seconds after consecutive fastest laps. 

Ferrari found a solution by pitting Sainz on lap 21. Leclerc pitted on lap 26 for the hard tyres giving Hamilton the lead for the first time since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. An undercut seemed like an option for Hamilton, but Mercedes opted to leave him out for longer as the Brit reported good tyre grip. Ferrari let their drivers fight for a few laps before Sainz let Leclerc through. 

Eventually, Hamilton pitted on lap 34 for the hard tyre. Mercedes had a small delay which cost him a crucial 1.5 seconds putting him three seconds behind the two Ferrari drivers. After previously overtaking his old rival Verstappen, Esteban Ocon stopped on a straight and therefore caused a safety car on lap 40. Sainz and Hamilton both pitted for the soft tyres whereas Leclerc stayed on the hards. Sainz managed to overtake Leclerc for the win despite yet another scabble over the team radio. 

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