Updated: Nov 23, 2022
What a race that was, arguably the best of the season so far, and I was lucky enough to witness it all from the start/finish line. Silverstone really is an event and half, arguably one of my favourite days ever and I would recommend every F1 fan go at some point if they can. There were terrifying moments and exhilarating moments, all of which was incredible to see up close.
Q1 passed without incident, both Aston Martins and Haas’s joined Albon in being eliminated first. Q2 saw some typical British summer weather as the rain start to come down and lead to some trickier decisions for the teams. Throughout most of the session both Ocon and Ricciardo were struggling to find consistency and get out of the bottom 5. It was a dream qualifying for Latifi who not only made it into Q2 for the first time this year, but also Q3 for the first time in his F1 career. Q2 saw Ocon, Ricciardo, Bottas and both AlphaTauris knocked out, partly due to the wet weather conditions.
At one point in Q3 Hamilton, Russell and Norris were 2nd, 3rd and 4th fastest, which lead to screams from the British crowds that lined Silverstone all weekend. Pole position for the race changed 3 times in the last minute of qualifying, with the main competition between Verstappen and Sainz. The Ferrari driver managed to claim his first F1 pole, which many people were thrilled to see for him.
Lights out and away they did not go, I don’t think anyone was expecting that start! Within 1 turn of the race it was red flagged as a troubled start for Russell led to a nudge from Gasly which pushed the Mercedes into the back of Zhou, whose car flipped upside-down, skidded across the gravel and flipped up between the tyre barrier, a rather terrifying crash for not just Zhou and Alpha Romeo, but spectators too. The race restarted with the cars lining up in their original track position, which worked out great for Ferrari as both their drivers had been overtaken in the first turn before the red flag. Albon had also been in a crash and was a third driver to retire from the race before making it to turn 2.
The restart saw the Ferrari’s learning from their mistakes and not giving away track position. Lap 10 saw Sainz go off the track onto the grass and lose track position to Verstappen who had only been a few 10ths of a second being. 2 laps later Sainz was back in front after the Red Bull faced some issues, which turned out to be body work related
Lap 39 saw a yellow flag and safety car which led to Hamilton and Sainz pitting for new tyres and started the dramatic 3 way battle we would later see. By lap 45 the newer tyres were proving too much for Leclerc as he tried to fight with Perez and Hamilton for those last two podium places, after Sainz had sped away at the front. The last few laps a great double overtake from Hamilton which was met by deafening cheers from the British crowd. Leclerc and Hamilton were really fighting for 3rd place before the Brit managed to pip Leclerc to take home a trophy and podium place in his home race, while Perez finished 2nd. I think everyone was happy to see Sainz make that first F1 victory, which on race 150 seemed like a long time coming!
What a day it was in Silverstone, I witnessed an F3 race in which Arthur Leclerc (brother to Charles) had his first victory of the season, an F2 race, the Porche race, as well as the historic cars, Sebastian Vettel riding Nigel Mansell’s old car, the drivers parade and of course the race. As far as it was an incredible race, the most important aspect is that both Zhou who had been in a horrific accident and Albon who had been taken to hospital were both okay.
Russel may have not come in the top 5 in every race this season, but he still has for every race he’s finished. It was sad to see him being the only Brit not make it over the finish line, but he proved himself to be an incredible person as he leaped from his car to try help Zhou and ultimately sacrificed he race to ensure another drivers safety.
I think that Ferrari need to sort out their strategy, there were aspects of that raced that did not make sense. When Sainz was holding up Leclerc and Leclerc was given orders not to overtake despite the fact that Hamilton was getting closer by the second. Later they gave the team orders for their drivers to battle it out on track while they were P1 and P2, I don’t think I’ve seen a call scream double DNF more recently!