Sainz claims maiden F1 win in epic British Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz claimed his first Formula One victory in his 150th race on Sunday when he drove his Ferrari to a spectacular triumph in a furious and crash-hit British Grand Prix.

Race winner Ferrari's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr waves a Spanish flag after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on July 3, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

The 27-year-old Spaniard, starting from his maiden pole position, resisted a charging Sergio Perez of Red Bull, who recovered from 17th, to take the flag by 3.7 seconds in front of a record 142,000 crowd at the high-speed Silverstone circuit.

Home hero and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took third to claim a record 13th podium finish on home soil, an unprecedented total by any driver at a single event.

Drawing on his fresher tyres in the closing stages, Hamilton resisted and passed Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari, who finished fourth ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris of McLaren.

World champion and series leader Max Verstappen finished seventh for Red Bull, recovering after picking up debris and suffering a puncture, ahead of a revitalised Mick Schumacher of Haas, collecting his first points in his second season.

Sebastian Vettel, who had started 18th on his birthday, and Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas completed the top 10.

"I don't know what to say," said a beaming Sainz. "It is amazing. My first win in Formula One on my 150th race and for Ferrari at Silverstone! It's amazing."

Perez was also delighted. "It was a great comeback," he said.

"We never gave up and we kept pushing. We kept trying. It was epic in some of those final laps."

Hamilton paid tribute to the crowd, saying Silverstone was unmatched around the world for the scale and depth of enthusiasm demonstrated at the British event, which on Sunday provided stunning entertainment.

"I gave it everything today," said Hamilton. "I tried to chase, but the Red Bull and the Ferraris were too quick on the straights."