Photo Courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari
While we celebrated the 4th of July in the United States, Formula One was all about the Brits’ home track this weekend at Silverstone.
There were plenty of fireworks in a race that saw a red flag after less than a lap completed. Fortunately, everyone was checked out by medical staff and seemed to be ok. A whopping six cars did not finish the race.
It was exciting from green to checkered flag, especially for first-time F1 pole-sitter and winner, Carlos Sainz. Here’s how TGS writers reacted to the British Grand Prix.
Immediate reaction: Blessed again!
Another GP in which we were blessed with an incident later in the race to bunch up the field. The race started with a bang and a red flag, but after the race got going again there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about until the late safety car due to Esteban Ocon stopping on the track on lap 39. Under the safety car, several drivers, including Sainz, made a stop to put on fresh soft tires which provided us some great action during the nine lap sprint to the end of the race.
Driver of the race: Carlos Sainz
It’s hard not to make the guy who won their first GP the driver of the race, right? Sainz did today what he does most weeks, which is drive a smart race, push when it is needed, and today the strategy (and luck) fell in his direction. The team wanted him to stay back on the start of the safety car to try and protect the top two spots, but he didn’t and with a crucial mistake from Charles Leclerc that allowed Sainz to take the lead, he was vindicated. Hats off to Carlos.
Moment of the race: Zhou upside down
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Formula 1 car go sliding across a track upside down until today. The race started with a bang as we saw George Russell close a gap which Pierre Gasly was trying to occupy, hooking Russell into Zhou Guanyu, and subsequently flipping Zhou on his top. Zhou then slid into the gravel and launched tires-first into the catch fence. All of us watched, waiting for good news and a replay, which we finally got after it was reported that Zhou was taken out of the car, awake and moving. He later posted a video saying he was all good and thanking the halo and everyone for their concerns.
Thoughts moving forward: Game on?
It may not keep Max Verstappen from winning another championship, but Lewis Hamilton showed today that Mercedes is continuing to make progress. We didn’t get to see if Russell would also show speed to compete in the top 5, but all signs point toward Mercedes getting back to where we are accustomed to seeing them, competing for podiums and wins with Ferrari and Red Bull.
As a new F1 fan in 2022, this was the most exciting race I’ve seen so far. I was beginning to wonder where all these crazy starts were that I’d seen in “Drive to Survive,” and we finally got one this week. It quickly turned serious when everyone realized they were withholding replays, but everyone involved in the accident was fortunately ok. Then the restarts after red flag/safety cars produced incredible racing between packs.
Driver of the race
During a restart, the lead pack of both Ferrari and Red Bull drivers got quite aggressive while fighting wheel-to-wheel for position. Checo Pérez appeared to get the worst of it when he had to pit due to damage on his front wing after making contact with Charles Leclerc. (Leclerc also had damage to his wing, but it did not require a pit stop or seem to impact his race much.) Pérez stayed positive and climbed back into position by the time the final safety car bunched up the field. He then managed to come out on top of a fierce battle with Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton and finish P2.
Moment of the race
The moment of the race was when Carlos Sainz defied Ferrari team orders and passed Charles Leclerc for the lead. After Ferrari screwed Leclerc by not calling him into pit, thus making him a sitting duck on cold, hard tires, they tried to screw Sainz as well by asking him to hold up a thirsty mob of at least five cars. Although I would have liked to see Leclerc on the podium, Sainz did the right thing. Neither Ferrari car would have won if he’d followed orders and I honestly think there was a good chance of an accident. Good for Sainz for having the guts to do what made sense and seize his elusive first F1 victory. They probably should have given him the trophy for the winning constructor as well because lord knows when you win, you have to do it in spite of Ferrari.
Thoughts moving forward
For all of the jokes about the espresso the Ferrari team drinks, where is the sense of urgency? They waited too long to give their drivers direction when Sainz was holding up a faster Leclerc earlier in the race, and more crucially, they waited too long to determine a pit strategy during the safety car and hung Leclerc out to dry. Between Silverstone and Monaco, they’ve now done it twice and it has cost Leclerc two podiums. You’ve got to think that’s damaged some trust between driver and team. Leclerc had to drive his ass off with bricks for tires against a seven-time F1 champion and it still wasn’t enough. Ferrari has a lot of nerve to wag a finger in that man’s face and (presumably) warn him not to tell the media what everyone knows: they fucked up again. Neither Ferrari driver is going to have the title shot they deserve until the team decision-makers get it together.
Editor’s note: Jacqueline was unable to contribute due to celebrating too hard after Carlos Sainz’ first career win. If you spotted a woman running around Chicago with a Sainz shirt and an incredible manicure, we hope you told her, “Congratulations.”