In the most serious sense, there were clear winners at the British Grand Prix as Formula 1 got away unscathed from a day with a major F1 crash, a terrifying Formula 2 incident and protesters gaining access to the track.
But in the final results on the track, there were clear winners and losers.
Here’s our pick of those who have the most and least to celebrate from Silverstone.
Sainz was beginning to feel like the eternal bridesmaid and even after taking his first F1 pole position on Saturday, it felt like he wasn’t the strongest driver in dry or wet conditions this weekend.
And the race proved just that: he wasn’t the fastest driver on Sunday, but he didn’t have to be.
Instead, he put up a stern defense against Max Verstappen on the second standing start, obeyed and beat his Ferrari team when it mattered, and efficiently passed Charles Leclerc on the final safety car restart to seal the win.
A well deserved first F1 win for Sainz. It’s too early to call it a breakthrough – this was an extremely unique race – but it is an important milestone in an otherwise challenging second season at Ferrari. † Josh Suttil
Max Verstappen (somehow)
The placement of a frontrunner who stumbled to seventh in a car with a “cracked” floor between the winners may confuse you. Anyway, it feels like what happened after Verstappen drove over the AlphaTauri rubble and his RB18 stumbled was more or less the best outcome.
Points on the board, Ferrari failing to capitalize on Leclerc, Perez has proven to be second best to Verstappen all weekend. And the pace was there, of course – there was every chance after that first pass he would blast away from Sainz and into the distance.
The kind of weekend where championships are won? Probably not, no, although it did drive well.
A big mulligan? Sure. – Valentin Khorounzhiy
Schumacher has had a few races that have looked promising opportunities to end his wait for an F1 points finish. This was not one of them. Funny how F1 works, isn’t it?
The omens weren’t great for Schumacher, who started 16th at a track where Haas had never looked so competitive under any circumstances this weekend. But a chaotic build-up to the first corner set the tone for a dramatic Grand Prix.
Schumacher has been fast and competitive a few times now, but wasn’t there when it matters. This was almost the opposite – although to his credit he got stronger as the race came to him.
The late dice with Verstappen threatened to get him, but Schumacher handled the situation well and brought home points that will be a huge confidence boost – and a relief. – Scott Mitchell
Considering what Perez’s race looked like after his unscheduled early pit stop for a new front wing, this was an excellent recovery.
He was probably on his way to fourth before the final safety car restart, but that gave him the chance to force his way to the podium and that’s exactly what he did.
Perez wasted little time passing Lewis Hamilton with a forceful move and then had to pass him again when Hamilton attacked Perez when fighting with Leclerc.
Although he had little chance of stopping Sainz, Perez kept Leclerc off the podium and contributed to a neat damage control for Red Bull team-mate Verstappen. – JS
A pack of cars all over the road doing incredible three-wide races and moving a jolt from the outside in the chaotic final laps of a Grand Prix. Of course Fernando Alonso will stick his nose in there somewhere.
As things got wilder in the peloton around Leclerc and his tire fatigue in the closing laps, Alonso looked good to misdirect Hamilton, Perez or Leclerc and sneak his Alpine onto the podium.
He couldn’t quite do it, but lurking around the top six all race and taking a season-best fifth place finish at the finish was a much-needed result.
Not so much a breakthrough as a demonstration of what Alonso thought he could have delivered fairly regularly this season with better reliability. – Matte Beer
At one point, it looked like Leclerc would take 20-25 points off Verstappen’s championship lead. Instead, there were six.
There won’t be many more open goals like this, and Leclerc knows that. He was clearly dismayed after the race, although he did his very best not to rain team-mate Sainz’s parade.
But what should worry him more than the strategy blunder – you can replace the word ‘blunder’ with ‘decision’ if you subscribe to Mattia Binotto’s theory that Ferrari got all the phone calls right, which I certainly don’t – is the attitude of the supreme command.
Leclerc has been the faster Ferrari for most of the year. Even after being hindered five races in a row and now running into it, he is still ahead of Sainz in the standings.
If Ferrari wants to win the drivers’ title this year, he is the best choice. Maybe just betting.
Does Ferrari know that? The satisfaction after the race suggests not. And, really, what else can Leclerc do to make his team understand? – UK
When he signed that Mercedes deal for 2022, Russell could very well have envisioned winning his home race. And even in the midst of this year’s toil, a podium would have been relatively achievable given its form of late and expectations for the car at this track.
Instead it was a pretty disappointing eighth on the grid, a very bad start, a terrifying shunt in the first corner and then an unusual start failing as the marshals blasted a car he had hoped to bring back to the pits on a flat truck instead.
And that rather popular team-mate Russell overshadowed at Silverstone for most of the year put Mercedes on the podium.
But in the end, who cares? The defining image of Russell and Silverstone 2022 will be him sprinting across the run-off area after the crash to control Zhou Guanyu.
That first home Grand Prix in a top team was an absolute write-off for Russell in terms of results, but again a great demonstration of his human quality. – MB
Williams’ upgraded car
Williams’ highly anticipated major British GP upgrade package has not had its easiest debut weekend.
Rain ruined any chance of learning in FP1 and a mismanaged strategy in qualifying gave Alex Albon a Q1 exit in the upgraded Williams, while Nicholas Latifi was able to move on to Q3 in the old car.
Then Albon couldn’t even make it through the first corner of the race, as Sebastian Vettel accidentally slammed him into the wall (and back in the path of Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda) as a result of the multi-car collision that sent Zhou into the air .
It means there has been little chance for Williams to evaluate its upgrade package – and Albon’s crash means Latifi will likely receive the upgrades as well. – JS
Slow in practice, slow in qualifying, slow in the race.
There was a major extenuating circumstance on Sunday in the form of a DRS failure, but Ricciardo also acknowledged that he also felt no grip outside of it and thus lacked pace.
The Aussie is hoping for some sort of answer, presumably a technical one, an underlying shortcoming of his MCL36 over teammate Lando Norris.
But for now, without explanation, things look downright bleak. – UK
AlphaTauri (and Yuki Tsunoda in particular)
We thought we were done writing about Tsunoda doing career-threatening crazy things and could just write that he is now delivering on his F1 promise. We were premature, it turns out.
After the frankly rather crappy breakaway from the Montreal pits, his attempt to pass teammate Pierre Gasly at Silverstone ruined both races, leaving Tsunoda last on the road and eventually forcing Gasly to retire.
Making matters worse, after a fairly quiet weekend, they had risen through the early drama to a promising seventh and eighth places—at least until Tsunoda’s clumsy move sent them tumbling backwards.
Red Bull may not have any immediate 2023 replacements for Tsunoda, but it will certainly find a way to recruit one if Tsunoda continues its recent trend rather than reverting to the better version of itself. – MB