Carlos Sainz wins the British Grand Prix; Zhou Guanyu protected after scary crash

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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won a Formula One race for the first time in 150 starts on Sunday, winning a British Grand Prix that saw a scary crash on the first lap and a wild finish at the end.

“Yes! We did it! Yes! Vamos!” the 27-year-old driver shouted over the radio after crossing the finish line.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was 3.779s behind Sainz at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, England. Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, finished third and stood on the British Grand Prix podium for the 13th time in his successful career.

Fifteen seconds into the race, the Alfa Romeo driven by rookie Zhou Guanyu was involved in a collision at Turn 1, flying headfirst over the gravel and landing in a heap next to the safety fence. A red flag slowed the race as workers pulled out Zhou, who was later freed by medical personnel and credited the car’s halo – essentially a roll bar – with saving him.

“There are no breaks,” said his team. “Given the circumstances, he’s doing pretty well.” Zhou was examined and released from the county medical center.

Zhou shared a smiling photo and offered an update of her own on Twitter. “I’m fine, all right. Halo saved me today. Thank you everyone for your kind messages!”

Zhou’s car skidded over the gravel and overturned over the safety fence, landing upside down after a collision involving Mercedes’ George Russell, among others, who immediately exited his car and sprinted to Zhou’s car. Zhou was eventually taken out of class on a stretcher in an ambulance.

Russell, who received mechanical assistance after the crash, was also out of the race.

“First of all, the most important thing is that Zhou is okay,” Russell tweeted. “This was a scary incident and credit goes to the Marshals and medical team for their quick response. I’m obviously disappointed to end the race like this and feel sorry for the team and the fans. cheers [teammate Lewis Hamilton] out of the garage.”

George Russell and Zhou Guanyu were in a big crash!

Russell is fine and got out of the car even though Zhou’s car overturned. Hope he’s unharmed. pic.twitter.com/TPcGbGk6cT

— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 3, 2022

Williams’ Alex Albon and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly were also involved in the crash. Both drivers sought treatment at the medical center and Albon, whose car hit the wall, was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Zhou and Russell left the race. Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda, also involved in the affair, got repaired and returned to the starting lineup.

Onboard video showed Gasly trying to get into a gap between Zhou and Russell moving to the left. Gasly’s front right touched Russell’s rear left, sending his Mercedes into Zhou’s car.

Zhou is the first Chinese driver to compete in Formula 1.

Sainz’s chances, meanwhile, appeared to be diminishing as he followed a team order to let teammate Charles Leclerc pass at one point. But a late restart of the safety car allowed Sainz to emerge victorious with Perez, Hamilton and Leclerc battling behind him for second place. Leclerc was fourth.

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Hamilton seemed well positioned until the safety car was deployed and he lost his position to Perez at the restart.

“I gave everything today, I tried to chase those Ferraris. Congratulations to Carlos, I was in that fight in the end but these guys were just too fast for us on the straights today,” Hamilton said on Sky Sports after the race. “We lost some time during the pit stops, then I chased and chased, but the pace was good in both stints.”

Hamilton is now two straight podiums behind him. “It’s a huge bonus for us to be on the podium,” he said. “I’m glad that at the beginning everyone was spared the big crash. But we will keep pushing, trying and giving everything we can.”

Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver who is the reigning Formula One champion and current championship leader, fell back from the lead after his car rolled over debris. He finished seventh.

Formula 1 officials also said several fans tried to enter the track after the accident. “We can confirm that several people attempted to enter the track after the red flag,” the organization told the BBC. “These people were removed immediately and the matter is now being dealt with by local authorities.”

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