‘Selfish’ Sainz shut down questionable strategic call by Ferrari to leave Leclerc a sitting duck

Carlos Sainz won the British Grand Prix for Ferrari as team-mate Charles Leclerc finished fourth.

Carlos Sainz pleaded with his Ferrari team not to ask him to hinder his chance of winning the British Grand Prix during the late Safety Car period.

Team-mate Charles Leclerc had been equally upset that he had not been allowed through earlier in the race when he was quicker despite having wing damage as a result of contact with Sergio Perez.

This was allowing Sir Lewis Hamilton to catch both of them, so the Scuderia eventually allowed Leclerc through, and he was leading when Esteban Ocon came to a stop before Copse, causing a Safety Car.

Bizarrely, the Maranello-based team chose not to bring Leclerc into the pits as they pitted Sainz, so the Spaniard was on much fresher tyres for the final few laps.

In a bid to try and protect the 24-year-old, Ferrari asked Sainz to fall 10 car lengths back from his team-mate, something that he was not entirely pleased about.

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“But guys, I’m under pressure from Hamilton, please. Don’t ask these things. Please, please, stop inventing, stop inventing. I’m under pressure also,” he replied.

As it was, Sainz passed Leclerc on the restart and went on to win as Leclerc engaged in a wonderful battle with Hamilton and Perez, with the Mexican going on to take second before the seven-time champion beat Leclerc to third.

Following his maiden victory have started 150 races in the pinnacle of motorsport, the now 12-time podium finisher was elated.

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“I cannot describe it,” Sainz said in the media pen after the race.

“It’s probably the best feeling that you can have a racing driver, to win for Ferrari at such a great place like Silverstone with this crowd.

“So many drivers also coming to me to congratulate me, feeling a lot of respect for them.

“It’s a very happy day in my life and I’m going to enjoy it for sure.”

For his part, Sainz did everything he could to ensure that the team got the best result on Sunday.

“I was trying to keep on top of everything, like I knew my best today wasn’t my best; we need to analyse why,” he added.

“Because I had a lot of understeer and I was killing my front tyres, and I didn’t have this on Friday so it’s something we need to look into.

“And from there on, I was just trying to help the team to take the right decisions, to have the one-two, at every point I followed team instructions.

“Every time, I tried to give the team exactly what I felt was the right thing to do and I think that we won the race so it must have been not too bad!”

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

The other Red Bull of Max Verstappen would finish the race seventh having initially passed Sainz for the lead when the former McLaren driver made a mistake at Chapel.

However, the Dutchman picked up heavy floor damage after running over some debris, and this affected him for the remainder of the afternoon before he just about held off Mick Schumacher, who scored his first-ever points in eighth.