Sainz breaks his F1 duck with stunning Silverstone victory

John Skilbeck
Stats Perform
Carlos Sainz, draped in a Spanish flag, celebrates as Lewis Hamilton looks on
Carlos Sainz, draped in a Spanish flag, celebrates as Lewis Hamilton looks on

Carlos Sainz hailed an "amazing" first Formula One victory as the Spaniard finally earned top step on the podium by winning a dramatic British Grand Prix.

His Ferrari took the glory at Silverstone, some 12 years after Sainz won on the track in his fledgling Formula BMW days, a world away from the elite level of motorsport.

The 27-year-old overtook team-mate Charles Leclerc after a safety car delay, which followed a lap-39 breakdown for Esteban Ocon.

While Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso fought for the lower steps of the podium, Sainz stayed out of trouble and powered to the chequered flag.

This was his 150th grand prix, and despite achieving a flood of podium finishes, a win had been elusive until now.

"It's amazing. A first race win, 150 races later, with Ferrari in Silverstone. I cannot ask for more," Sainz said.

"It's a very special day, a day I shall never forget. Lewis was on it today, I heard, but we managed to hold on and I'm incredibly happy.

"It was not easy. I struggled quite a bit with the balance, especially on the first stint with the medium tyre, Max [Verstappen] was forcing us to push a lot through the high speed. I opened the front left, but even with all that I stayed believing that it could happen. I needed to stay in the race.

"All of a sudden the safety car gave me the opportunity to get back on it, and we did it. You can imagine the nerves on the safety car restart knowing it was my chance and getting it done and then the win."

Reflecting on the drama behind him, Sainz said: "There was a lot going on, yeah?

"Silverstone has been a bit of a special place for me. I had a first ever race win for me in Formula BMW in 2010, first pole position here back in 2010, and suddenly 12 years later I achieve exactly the same but in Formula One with Ferrari."

Perez took second place, with Hamilton third

Mexican driver Perez suffered damage to the front wing of his car on the first lap, finding himself sandwiched between Verstappen and Leclerc, but recovered admirably from having to dive into the pits for repairs.

"It was a great comeback," Perez said. "We didn't give up, and we kept pushing. Then the opportunity came at the end, and we took it.

"It was a great fight with Charles and then with Lewis. It was an epic final lap, and it was a good fight within us."

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