After a bit of a parade in Canada, the British Grand Prix delivered a thrilling spectacle and a historic day for Carlos Sainz.
Formula 1 arrived at Silverstone with the typical increase in excitement and spectators. A full crowd at the British Grand Prix and the potential of a stronger Mercedes. F1 was at peak anticipation. A dramatic start, several swings in momentum, and late safety cars all led to a thoroughly entertaining race. Here are five key takeaways from Round 10 of the 2022 F1 season.
1 – Zhou’s scary crash in a devastating opening lap
The debate over the Halo ended long ago in F1. This weekend once again proved its life-saving value. Twice on Sunday the safety measure came into dramatic effect. Earlier in the day in the F2 Feature Race, Dennis Hauger’s car went over the sausage curb and down onto Roy Nissay’s cockpit.
Then as the lights went out in the Grand Prix it only took seconds before Zhou Guanyu was flipped upside down at high speed, flipping over in the gravel and launching into the air as his car collided with the safety barriers. Ultimately his car became wedged between the barriers and the safety fence protecting the crowd. Replays showed what might have been as the Halo bore the weight of Zhou’s car sliding along the track. Thankfully, he was recovered after a lengthy delay and returned to the paddock later during the race. A stark reminder of the dangers of F1 and the amazing steps the series has taken to improve safety.
2 – Hamilton & Mercedes step forward
This was not the season or car Lewis Hamilton or anyone at Mercedes had expected. The third-fastest team at best and struggling with bouncing issues, the Merc looked well off the pace to secure a victory. But there was renewed optimism heading into Silverstone. While George Russell was sidelined in the opening lap incident, Hamilton quickly showed that he could keep pace with the front three. Max suffering damage and Hamilton’s strong tire performance had everyone wondering if Sunday was the day that Mercedes arrived into the race-win fight.
Whether on medium or hard tires, Lewis looked to have the speed to not only keep up with the Ferraris but overtake. A massive improvement over the rest of the season. While a late safety car ultimately brought Perez back into the mix, everyone at Mercedes will be thrilled to have unlocked a bit more of the potential in their 2022 car.
3 – And on his 150th start…
Sainz entered F1 in 2015 for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team driving alongside Max Verstappen. After a few seasons together Verstappen was promoted to the Red Bull team, while Sainz moved on from their academy system to join Renault. On Sunday Sainz will have enjoyed starting on pole ahead of Verstappen, maintaining the lead on the second start, and eventually overtook Max as his once-teammate fell down the order. But after six 3rd place finishes during his career and three-second steps on the podium this season, the luck finally landed on Carlos Sainz. The win helps distance his struggles earlier this season and now brings him just 11 points behind his teammate.
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4 – Debris sidetracks Red Bull’s British Grand Prix
On the initial start, Verstappen quickly took the lead over Sainz, while Perez struggled to get away from the grid losing a few positions. On the second attempt Sainz blocked off Max, but Perez took advantage of the re-do. But early contact with Leclerc by Perez left him with a damaged front wing and to the back of the order after entering the pits. Verstappen retook the lead after a mistake by Sainz but ran over debris that left him with a punctured tire and body damage that would limit his performance for the rest of the day. Perez eventually climbed back onto the podium thanks to a well-timed caution and Verstappen managed to remain in the points. 2nd and 7th are far better than Red Bull would have hoped for at one stage in the Grand Prix. But their car clearly had the pace for the win.
5 – Haas does the double
After a brutal 2021 season, Haas was finally rewarded for a season that has seen potential. While Kevin Magnussen landed in the points on his first race back for the American team, Mick Schumacher had yet to score a top ten finish since debuting last year. Schumacher nearly broke that streak back in Miami before a late clash with Sebastian Vettel sent him back to 15th. Sunday Magnussen (10th) scored his fourth points finish of the season. But it was Schumacher a few places ahead in 8th. A welcome sign as he looks to quiet rumors of his seat for next year. In fact, Schumacher could have easily been 7th if not for being pushed off the track twice in the final laps by Verstappen. While the circumstances were unique on Sunday, that’s right where he’s been hoping to be.
Championship Standings after the British Grand Prix
- Max Verstappen – 181
- Sergio Perez – 147
- Charles Leclerc – 138
- Carlos Sainz – 127
- George Russell – 111
Up next F1 heads to the Austrian Grand Prix on July 10th.