Another very questionable call, or lack of it, cost Charles Leclerc a podium place at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, July 3. Instead, Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz crossed the line first to take his first Formula 1 win on his 150th race.
The Monegasque started the race in P3, but finished in fourth place behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in second place and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in third.
However, the main drama occurred during the very first lap, when Alfa Romeo rookie Zhou Guanyu was rear-ended by Merc’s George Russell, who had in turn been hit by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Zhou was flipped into the air and landed upside down as he skidded off the track and across the gravel before hitting the spectators stand in dramatic fashion.
Zhou was thankfully unharmed in the crash, with the halo proving to be a saving grace once again. His team said soon afterwards: “Zhou is conscious. He’s talking. There are no fracture and considering the circumstances he is pretty well.”
The following laps saw no shortage of drama, as the lead changed hands multiple times. Max Verstappen was taken out of contention fairly early on, as the Dutchman’s Red Bull suffered body damage that compromised his performance and saw him finish in seventh place.
The closing laps saw Leclerc drop from P1 to P4 as he was overtaken by Sainz, Perez and Hamilton, who were all on much fresher tyres. However, the fight for second place remained until the end of the race.
The net result in the drivers’ standings sees Verstappen remain a long way in front with 181 points, followed by teammate Perez on 147 and Charles Leclerc on 138.
After a British GP to remember, the F1 circus set their sights on the Red Bull Ring, where the 2022 Austrian GP will be held on Sunday, July 10.
Featured image: Zhou Guanyu