Sainz amazed by ‘special’ British GP win as Hamilton had ‘one of his days’

Carlos Sainz became a race winner in Formula 1 at Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz was ecstatic after coming out on top at the end of an unusual British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The Spaniard was surprised when he got pole position on Saturday, and lost the lead to Max Verstappen off the start before a scary crash that saw Zhou Guanyu flipped over the barrier caused a red flag.

Thankfully, Zhou was okay, and the starting order was reverted to its original state, meaning that Sainz again started from pole, and this time he held off the Dutchman.

The 27-year-old lost the lead again when he went off the track at Chapel, but the 24-year-old suffered an issue to give Ferrari and one-two as Charles Leclerc took second.

It looked as though it was going to be a comfortable win for the Scuderia, but they faced a challenge from the incredible Sir Lewis Hamilton, who was closing quickly on the Prancing Horses.

READ: Horner comments on ‘demon’ Sainz after Verstappen gets caught out

Sainz was eventually told to let Leclerc, who was faster, go through following the pit stops for the Maranello pair, and they both cleared Hamilton when he eventually pitted.

A late Safety Car was called when Esteban Ocon stopped before Copse and, interestingly, Ferrari chose not to pit Leclerc while Sainz was brought in.

The 27-year-old passed his team-mate for the win as Leclerc was sent down to P4 behind the seven-time world champion.

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Sergio Perez, who suffered damage after contact with Leclerc on the restart, was brought back into play as he took second, but after 150 race starts, Sainz finally claimed his maiden F1 victory.

“I don’t know what to say,” Sainz told Jenson Button after the race.

“It’s amazing, first race win, 150 races later, with Ferrari, in Silverstone, I cannot ask for more.

“It’s a very special day, a day that I will never forget, a race that I will never forget in general.

“Thank you everyone for the support, for the cheers, Lewis was on it today I heard!

“It was one of his days, but I managed to hold on and I am incredibly happy.”

Sainz had to work for the victory after a tough and exciting afternoon, but the late Safety Car saved his race.

“It was not easy, I struggled quite a bit with the balance, especially on the first stint with the Medium tyres,” he explained.

“Max was forcing us to push a lot through the high-speed [corners]; I opened the front left but even with all that I stayed believing that it could still happen.

“I needed to stay in the race like I was trying to and then all of a sudden the Safety Car gave me the opportunity to get back on it, and yeah we did it.

“You can imagine the nerves on that Safety Car restart, knowing it was my chance, and getting it done and getting the win.”

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The Silverstone Circuit has always been special for the Ferrari driver from his junior days to now, so getting his first pole and first win this weekend means an awful lot.

“Thanks to all of [the fans] because Silverstone has been a bit of a special place for me; first ever race win here in Formula BMW back in 2010, first pole position here back in 2010 and suddenly 12 years I achieve exactly the same in Formula 1 with Ferrari,” added Sainz.

“It’s a special place for me and I thank the whole crowd for being behind me and cheering me on.”

Sainz’s win takes him back up to fourth in the Drivers’ Standings above Mercedes’ George Russell, and he is now 11 points behind third-placed Leclerc.

Verstappen fended off Mick Schumacher to take seventh on Sunday after he struggled with balance following his issue.