At his 150th attempt, Carlos Sainz is a winner in Formula 1, first past the chequered flag in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in his F1-75. For Scuderia Ferrari, it’s the third victory of the season and its 241st overall. Carlos is thus the 40th driver to win for Ferrari, the second Spaniard after Fernando Alonso. He brings the total number of drivers who have won a world championship Grand Prix to 112.
It has been an almost perfect weekend for Sainz after he took pole yesterday. Charles Leclerc drove an aggressive race, featuring several duels on his way to a fourth-place finish. A Safety Car a few laps from the end, after Esteban Ocon stopped on track, did not work in his favour.
Closing laps. When Ocon stopped on track and the Safety Car came out, Charles was leading, ahead of Carlos and Lewis Hamilton. At this point, the team pitted Sainz, leaving Leclerc in the lead on fresher tyres, believing that the Soft tyres of the competitors would probably degrade quite quickly. At the restart, Charles struggled to get his tyres back up to temperature and was passed by his team-mate, as well as by Sergio Perez and Hamilton. He thus had to settle for the 12 points for fourth place.
On to Austria. Scuderia Ferrari leaves the UK having made up points on its rivals in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships, with both Carlos and Charles. Now it’s time to prepare for the next race, a week today, at the Spielberg track in Austria.
Charles Leclerc #16
I didn’t finish where I wanted to, so it was a frustrating race for me. There were times when I really had to be on the limit to keep my position, fighting with others who were on Softs which was not easy in the end. It’s a shame not to bring home more points for our team today, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
No matter how disappointed I am, it should not take away from what is an amazing first win for Carlos. It’s a moment he will never forget, a dream come true for every driver and I hope that he enjoys it!
Carlos Sainz #55
What a day! Winning my first F1 GP and with Scuderia Ferrari in front of this amazing crowd, at one of my favourite tracks, Silverstone, is literally amazing.
Mentally it was one of the toughest races I’ve done: managing the gaps, lots of fights on track, and 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. 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.
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal & Managing Director
To get back to winning, especially at such a demanding track like Silverstone, is particularly pleasing and confirms that we have worked well this season, both at the track and back in Maranello. Carlos had a great weekend, in which he also secured his first pole position. He was strong and consistent throughout and the win was richly deserved.
On the other hand, it’s a shame we scored fewer points than we could have done with Charles who, when the Safety Car came out, was comfortably in the lead. Pitting Charles at that moment, which would have put him behind Hamilton, who at that point would have stayed out on fresh Hard tyres, did not seem the right choice, so we, therefore, decided to leave him out on track. Unfortunately, at the restart, he was at a disadvantage in terms of tyres. We also want to congratulate Mick Schumacher on scoring his first championship points. They are well deserved.
Finally, it’s worth underlining once again the efforts of the FIA and Formula 1 in terms of safety. The fact that no drivers involved in the accidents at the start suffered any serious injury confirms just how effective are the current safety measures.