Carlos Sainz Jr proved at the British Grand Prix that he has the credentials to challenge for the 2022 F1 Drivers’ Championship. The Ferrari driver had finished second on three occasions in the 2022 season, but failed to make the breakthrough to claim his maiden triumph. However, at Silverstone, Sainz was in control throughout the week as he earned pole position on the grid ahead of Max Verstappen.
CARLOS SAINZ WINS THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX!! 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/WkIUsDPcKr
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 3, 2022
The Spaniard then battled Verstappen over the course of the race in difficult conditions after the early crash between Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu and George Russell. Verstappen was first to blink as he made a mistake running over debris after the lead changed hands between the drivers.
The damage to his Red Bull handed the race to Sainz and he needed no second invitation to become only the second Spaniard to win a Grand Prix, following in the footsteps of Fernando Alonso. Unfortunately for Sainz, he is too far off the pace of Verstappen to make the victory count in the 2022 season in the race for the Drivers’ Championship.
What Can Carlos Sainz and Ferrari Achieve?
Sainz could still play a vital role in deciding the outcome of the crown if Ferrari are able to regroup for the stretch run, proving that he can win races under pressure. He is certainly a strong contender when betting on F1 for the rest of the term, starting with the Belgian and Netherlands Grand Prix the next two races on the docket, Ferrari will be desperate to drag themselves back into the race for the Constructors’ Championship and perhaps forge a path of Charles Leclerc back into the race for the title. It would be all the sweeter if they were able to do it in the Netherlands on Verstappen’s home track.
Ferrari’s inconsistency regarding their vehicle and their strategy has held both of their drivers back this season. Sainz has been excellent for the majority of the campaign, finishing no lower than fifth in completed races. In the early stages of the season, Sainz must take the brunt of responsibility after crashing out of the Australian Grand Prix and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Issues with his hydraulics and power unit caused him to make premature exits in Azerbaijan and Austria, wasting a chance to put pressure on Red Bull at the top of the standings.
The power unit issue was again prevalent in France, forcing him to start from the back of the grid after having to replace the part during qualifying. It was a case of what could have been for the Spaniard and Ferrari as he recorded the fastest lap in the French Grand Prix, but could only move up to fifth. Sainz did have the pace to beat out Verstappen, highlighting another misfire from the Italian outfit in their preparation.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 22, 2022
The Hungarian Grand Prix provided further frustration for Ferrari and their two drivers as Sainz failed to convert second place on the gird into a podium finish. He blamed himself for a poor final lap, but Ferrari came under fire for their strategy in the race. There is a myriad of issues that are preventing the Italian team from achieving the best. All parties are guilty of failure, and unless the team and Sainz can put their misfires behind them, they’re always going to be behind Red Bull in the 2022 campaign.