Sainz takes first career F1 victory at British GP



Carlos Sainz won the first Formula 1 race of his career in a sensational British Grand Prix.

Sainz endured a roller-coaster afternoon to claim his maiden win. He started on pole and held the lead with a robust defense on Max Verstappen at the first turn, but he didn’t have the Dutchman’s pace early in the race, and a mistake on lap 10 at Becketts gifted Red Bull Racing first place.

He got the lead back just two laps later when Verstappen dropped deep into the midfield with a puncture and bodywork damage, but now his teammate, Charles Leclerc, was the one applying pressure, with the Monegasque desperate to get past before the charging Lewis Hamilton caught them.

Ferrari capitulated to Leclerc’s request for team orders and swapped them after their pit stops, condemning Sainz to a rearguard defense against the pursuing Mercedes, but the Spaniard’s race was given a new lease on life when Esteban Ocon’s Alpine ground to a halt at the entry of Copse on lap 39.

Ferrari left Leclerc in the lead with worn hard tires but pitted Sainz for fresh softs, and Hamilton in third and Perez in fourth did likewise.

Leclerc was easy meat when the race resumed on lap 43. The only question was who would take the lead.

Sainz didn’t need to be asked twice. He was assertive in putting the moves on his teammate and immediately built a gap, aided by Hamilton, Perez and Leclerc trapping each other into an enthralling battle for the podium places.

Perez jumped Hamilton early, but Hamilton passed both as they ran each other wide out of Club — only for them to get the Briton back through Village.

Albon rebounded spinning across the track and made contact with Esteban Ocon, giving the Frenchman a right-front puncture, and then heavier contact with Yuki Tsunoda, breaking his nosecone.

Albon stopped on track and had to visit the medical center due to the force of his crash, and he was helicoptered to hospital afterwards for precautionary checks. Ocon and Tsunoda were able to limp back to pit lane for repairs.

The series of crashes were deemed racing incidents by the stewards during the red-flag suspension.

In a potentially calamitous further turn of events, protesters broke into the circuit along the Wellington straight on the first lap shortly before the field arrived at racing speed. Fortunately the red flag slowed the cars before reaching the track invaders, who were subsequently detained by local police.

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