British Grand Prix: 2 winners and 2 losers from Silverstone

The British Grand Prix was won by Carlos Sainz on Sunday afternoon as the Spaniard sealed his first-ever Formula 1 victory at Silverstone.

Sainz started the race from pole and, at the second attempt following the restart, he held onto the lead and would go onto win – though he was given a little bit of a helping hand by Max Verstappen hitting trouble when taking P1 and by Ferrari’s decision not to pit Charles Leclerc under the Safety Car.

Even so, Sainz deserves a bit of fortune and a win has been a long time coming, so he kicks off our winners and losers piece this time around…

Winner – Carlos Sainz

Sainz produced a stellar lap time in the wet on Saturday in qualifying to seal his first-ever pole in the sport, and then completed the job by taking his maiden Grand Prix victory at Silverstone.

A popular driver in the paddock and with fans, few would begrudge him victory here.

Yes, Max Verstappen had taken the lead off of him after a mistake and may well have taken victory had he not suffered damage to his car running over debris, but that is all academic now and when Sainz saw the chance to take victory from Charles Leclerc on worn tyres in the closing stages, he pounced.

Loser – Charles Leclerc

On the flipside, Charles Leclerc was naturally a little frustrated to say the very least post-race.

He had been leading but Ferrari decided not to bring him in for fresh tyres under the late Safety Car following on from Esteban Ocon’s retirement just before Copse.

The Scuderia said that they felt they could not pit both drivers at the same time as they would have lost their one-two, and Leclerc was on fresher tyres at the time so he was sacrificed but, given he was leading and has the better chance in the championship, surely this was the wrong call?

Ultimately, at the restart he was a sitting duck and first became fourth come the chequered flag.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JUNE 30: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks on in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on June 30, 2022 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Winner – first corner crash drivers

We simply cannot overlook what happened at the first corner on Sunday, and it is a miracle we’re looking back on a race at Silverstone that can be remembered both for great racing action and a huge testament to the safety advancements in the sport.

Zhou Guanyu eventually emerged from his ruined Alfa Romeo with barely a scratch on him, whilst Alex Albon was given the all-clear later on in the day after having his own shunt in the aftermath of Zhou’s initial crash with George Russell.

Credit to Russell, too, who effectively sacrificed his own race to go and check if Zhou was okay – a class act.

Loser – Alfa Romeo

Poor Alfa.

They started the Grand Prix with hopes of another double finish following on from Montreal but come the chequered flag they were just thankful tragedy hadn’t hit the team.

Zhou was obviously out and after the restart Valtteri Bottas didn’t last long before picking up a gearbox issue.

The repair bill for Zhou’s car won’t come cheap, and in the midfield battle they saw Alpine and McLaren both score decent points, so they’ll be eager to get to Austria more than most this coming weekend.

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