Carlos Sainz claimed his career-first Grand Prix victory in his 150th race having started on pole for the first time but it was only one story line in a dramatic and scary British Grand Prix on Sunday.
But the race may be remembered for scary scenes upon the first corner when there was contact between AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Mercedes’ George Russell, leading to the latter cannoning into Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu who spun, rolled over and skidded into the barriers.
There was a lengthy delay after the incident with major concerns over Zhou’s safety but eventually he was confirmed to be OK, able to be extracted from his vehicle and stretchered to an ambulance.
In the same incident, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel drove into the rear of Williams’ Alex Albon who crashed, forcing him out of the race and to hospital where he has since been released.
The FIA said in a statement: “The FIA advises that following the incident at the start of the race, emergency crews were immediately in attendance, and the drivers of Car 23 (Albon) and Car 24 (Zhou) have been taken to the medical centre.
“Both drivers were conscious and will be evaluated at the medical centre. Further updates will be given in due course.”
The incident occurred as Sainz started on pole although he lost his lead on the first lap, only for the crash to force a reset.
The Spaniard led the race after the restart, although Max Verstappen did get past him before having mechanical issues, allowing Sainz to move ahead again and he wouldnt relent as he claimed a career-first F1 win.
“I think a first win is always a bit of a relief, Im not going to lie,” he said. “The same way the pole position didnt feel like it yesterday, today the win does feel like a bit of a relief.
“There you have it, you have a win in Formula 1 and for sure Im going to keep fighting for more.
“Im going to keep improving with this car and try and make it happen. Honestly I never stopped believing that this win was going to come.”
Perez recovered brilliantly to finish second, having been last earlier in the race following contact with Charles Leclerc upon the restart.
Leclerc finished fourth, while Verstappen’s issues meant he ended up seventh, but he remains top of the Drivers’ Championship with 181 points.
Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Perez is second on 147, with Leclerc in third on 138 and Sainz fourth on 127.