2022 British Grand Prix Blog
It’s been a while since we wrote a blog. The team here have been busy with F1 Races have been coming thick and fast with perhaps the biggest of them all taking place at Silverstone. More than 400,000 fans visited the Northamptonshire circuit over the course of the weekend and this year’s renewal certainly wasn’t short on drama. Track invasions, strategy dilemmas, wheel to wheel action, sun, wind, rain… the British Grand Prix had them all.
All this pales into insignificance though when you watch the reply of Zhou Guanyu’s crash at the start of the race. Zhou’s Alfa Romeo was flipped upside down, sliding across the gravel before vaulting the barriers at the first corner. It is a miracle he was freed from the car and declared uninjured shortly afterwards. Further proof, if any were needed, as to the value of the halo device.
The start of the Grand Prix was carnage. Alex Albon got flown to hospital for checks after his Williams was shunted into the wall of the pit lane by Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin. George Russell and Pierre Gasly also collided, which is what triggered Zhou’s accident as Russell’s Mercedes span into the side of him.
The race was delayed by an hour to sort out the considerable amount of damage but there was one positive note from all of this – a track invasion by environmental protesters who sat themselves down on the Wellington straight had minimal impact because the race had already been red flagged. Six people have subsequently been charged. Good, is what we say.
Eventually the race got restarted and it transpired that Max Verstappen was struggling, the floor of his Red Bull having sustained damage by running over debris on track. This was a gilt-edged opportunity for Charles Leclerc to close the gap then? Wrong! It seems like nearly every race now we see a questionable strategy call from Ferrari. Towards the end of the race Leclerc was leading and pulling clear of teammate, Carlos Sainz. Victory for looked a formality until a late safety car… and Ferrari opted to leave Leclerc out on used hard tyres whilst they pitted Sainz for softs.
The other leading drivers also took the opportunity to stop, including the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull of Sergio Perez. Leclerc’s response when he learned the news was ominous. He simply said: “That will be hard.” It was made harder still by Carlos Sainz, who refused Ferrari’s request to give his teammate extra space at the restart. Instead, the Spaniard choose to overtake on the run down Wellington straight and into Brooklands.
What followed was a frenetic final few laps and a treat for the fans. Leclerc should be commended in how he defended first against Sergio Perez and then against Lewis Hamilton but in the end his tyres simply weren’t up to the job. He finished a credible fourth place but must have been seething on the inside.
Many congratulations though to Carlos Sainz on his maiden F1 victory, he deserves it. But perhaps the biggest cheer came when Lewis Hamilton took the final place on the podium. 142,000, mainly British fans we delighted with that result. Lewis equally thrilled, saying: “I gave it everything today! I was chasing, trying to get those Ferraris, but congratulations to Carlos. They were just too quick today for us.”
Ferrari may be very quick, but this hasn’t manifested itself into points scored and they are currently 63 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors standings. Mattia Binotto did acknowledge their mistake this time, saying: “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.”
Mick Schumacher has come under a fair amount of criticism this year but he drove a great race here, bringing his Haas home in 8th place, particularly given the fact that he started down in P19. Kevin Magnussen put in a decent shift too. Well done to all the team at Haas, a double points finish is a fantastic result.
We’ll end with the best news of the weekend though and the words of Zhou Guanyu, who said: “The Halo saved me today, and it goes to show that every step we take in improving our cars has real, valuable results. I’m keener than ever to get back on track and do what I love: I’m fit and I’m looking forward to Austria next week.”
The F1 season continues at pace with a further three races over the next four weekends before the summer break. If you would like to join us at a race later this year, please call +44 (0)207 107 1640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.