In the most serious of senses there were clear winners at the British Grand Prix in that Formula 1 came away with no injuries from a day that featured a ferocious F1 startline crash, a terrifying Formula 2 incident, and protestors gaining access to the racetrack.
But in eventual on-track result terms, there were very obvious winners and losers.
Here’s our pick of those with most and least to celebrate from Silverstone.
Sainz was beginning to feel like the perennial bridesmaid and even after he took his maiden F1 pole position on Saturday, it felt like he wasn’t the strongest driver in either dry or wet conditions this weekend.
And the race proved exactly that: he wasn’t the fastest driver on Sunday, but he didn’t need to be.
Instead, he provided a stern defence against Max Verstappen on the second standing start, obeyed and overruled his Ferrari team when it mattered and efficiently passed Charles Leclerc at the final safety car restart to seal the victory.
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’s an important marker in an otherwise challenging second season with Ferrari. – Josh Suttill
MAX VERSTAPPEN (SOMEHOW)
The placement of a frontrunning driver who limped to seventh in a car with a “ruptured” floor among the winners may confuse you. Yet, well, it feels like what transpired after Verstappen ran over the AlphaTauri debris and hobbled his RB18 was more or less the best-case outcome.
Points on the board, Ferrari failing to capitalise with Leclerc, Perez having proven second-best to Verstappen all weekend. And the pace was, of course, there – there was every chance he was going to streak away from Sainz and into the distance after that initial pass.
The kind of weekend on which championships are won? Probably not, no, although he did drive well.
A big-time mulligan? You bet. – Valentin Khorounzhiy
Schumacher has had a few races that looked like 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, starting 16th at a track Haas never looked that competitive at in all conditions this weekend. But a chaotic run to the first corner set the tone for a dramatic grand prix.
A few times now Schumacher has been quick and competitive but not been 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 catch him out, but Schumacher handled the situation well and brought home points that will be a massive confidence boost – and a relief. – Scott Mitchell
Considering how Perez’s race looked after his unplanned early pitstop for a new front wing, this was an excellent recovery.
He was probably heading for fourth place before the final safety car restart, but that gave him an opportunity to force his way onto the podium and that’s exactly what he did.
Perez wasted little time in passing Lewis Hamilton with a forceful move and then had to repass him again when Hamilton pounced on Perez when he was battling with Leclerc.
While he had little chance of stopping Sainz, Perez locked Leclerc out of the podium and contributed to some tidy damage limitation for Red Bull team-mate Verstappen. – JS
A pack of cars all over the road going incredible three-wide racing and shock round-the-outside move in the chaotic final laps of a grand prix. Of course, Fernando Alonso’s going to be sticking his nose in there somewhere.
As things got ever wilder in the pack around Leclerc and his tired tyres in the closing laps, Alonso looked very well placed to catch the likes of Hamilton, Perez or Leclerc off-guard 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 at the finish was a much-needed result.
Not so much a breakthrough, as just a demonstration of what Alonso felt he could’ve been delivering pretty regularly this season with better reliability. – Matt Beer
At one point, it looked like Leclerc would be taking 20-25 points out of Verstappen’s championship lead. Instead, it was six.
There will not be many more open goals like this, and Leclerc knows it. He was clearly dismayed after the race, though he did his absolute best effort not to rain on team-mate Sainz’s parade.
But what should worry him even 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 calls right, which I certainly do not – is the attitude of the high command.
Leclerc has been the faster Ferrari virtually all year. Even after being hindered and up against it for five consecutive races now, he is still ahead of Sainz in the standings.
If Ferrari wants to win the drivers’ title this year, he is its best bet. Perhaps only bet.
Does Ferrari know that? The post-race contentment suggests not. And, really, what more can Leclerc be doing to make his team understand? – VK
When he signed that 2022 Mercedes deal, Russell may very well have imagined himself winning his home grand prix. And even amid this year’s toil, a podium would’ve felt relatively achievable given his form of late and expectations for the car at this track.
Instead, it was a pretty underwhelming eighth on the grid, a very bad start, a frightening first-corner shunt and then an unusual did-not-start because the marshals popped a car he’d hoped to bring back to the pits on a flatbed truck instead.
And that rather popular at Silverstone team-mate Russell’s been overshadowing for much of the year put Mercedes on the podium.
But ultimately, who cares? The defining image of Russell and Silverstone 2022 will be him sprinting across the run-off area to check on Zhou Guanyu after the crash.
That first home grand prix in a top team was an absolute write-off for Russell in results terms, but another great demonstration of his human quality. – MB
WILLIAMS’S UPGRADED CAR
Williams’s long-awaited major British GP upgrade package hasn’t had the easiest debut weekend.
Rain ruined any chance of learning things in FP1, and a poorly managed strategy in qualifying yielded a Q1 exit for Alex Albon in the upgraded Williams while Nicholas Latifi was able to progress to Q3 in the old car.
Then Albon didn’t even make it through the first corner in the race as Sebastian Vettel inadvertently slammed him into the wall (and back into Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda’s path) as a result of the multi-car collision that sent Zhou airborne.
It means there’s been little chance for Williams to evaluate its upgrade package – and Albon’s crash means Latifi receiving the upgrades will also likely be delayed. – JS
Slow in practice, slow in qualifying, slow in the race.
There was a big-time mitigating circumstance on Sunday in the form of a DRS failure, but Ricciardo also acknowledged that even outside of that he felt no grip – and therefore had no pace.
The Aussie is holding out hope for some sort of answer, presumably a technical one, an underlying deficiency with his MCL36 relative to that of team-mate Lando Norris.
But for now, without an explanation, it looks downright grim. – VK
ALPHATAURI (AND YUKI TSUNODA IN PARTICULAR)
We thought we were done with writing about Tsunoda doing career-threateningly daft things and could just write about him fulfilling his F1 promise now. We were premature, it turns out.
After the frankly quite rubbish Montreal pit exit shunt, at Silverstone his attempt to pass team-mate Pierre Gasly wrecked both their races, leaving Tsunoda to finish last on the road and ultimately forcing Gasly out.
What made it worse was that after a pretty quiet weekend, the early drama had allowed them to rise to very promising seventh and eighth places – at least until Tsunoda’s clumsy move sent them tumbling backwards.
Red Bull may not have any immediate obvious 2023 replacements for Tsunoda to hand, but it will surely find a way to recruit one if Tsunoda continues his recent trend rather than getting back to being the better version of himself. – MB