In a circuit as emblematic for Formula 1 as Silverstone, surrounded by the headquarters of most of the British teams that, together with Ferrari, give that unquestionable phlegm to the contest, Carlos Sainz yesterday took an anthological lap out of his cap to win the first
of his service record, in the 150th grand prix of his career.
At 27 years old and in his second year wearing the Ferrari jumpsuit, Sainz will become this Sunday (4:00 p.m., Dazn) the first Spaniard to lead a starting grid since Fernando Alonso did so at the 2012 German Grand Prix , curiously while also defending the brand red of'Il Cavallino Rampante.
This is the 23rd
of a driver born in Spain, even though the previous 22 bear the signature of the Spaniard, who will start seventh in Great Britain.
The wait was long if you take into account that this is Sainz's eighth season in the World Championship, and that only Checo Pérez (216 tests) had to wait longer than him before opening his
The setting was unbeatable, both for the soul that resides in it and for the role it played in one of the most decisive episodes of the boy's growth.
On Thursday, July 18, 2013, when he was only 18 years old, that boy with an illustrious surname got into an F-1 single-seater for the first time, as part of one of those training sessions that Red Bull uses to try to decipher the potential of the young people who are part of the Junior Team, its training program.
Stuck in a Toro Rosso, the boy completed 39 laps and signed the second absolute best time, surpassed only by Daniel Ricciardo.
Two years later, the red buffalo team made him debut alongside Max Verstappen, with whom he has coincided ever since, despite the fact that their objectives were different.
Until this course.
In Canada, two weeks ago, the Ferrari driver came within a trice of winning for the first time, but the Dutchman put up a wall in front of him and gained width, taking advantage of the brutal traction and acceleration of his car, to defuse any attack attempt of his rival.
This time, the roles will be changed at the start, which will be the first of the moments in which he must keep his former garage neighbor at bay.
On the typical leaden day at Silverstone, marked by water, Sainz was the one who best read the extremely delicate conditions in which the qualifying session was held, on a track that was intermittently wet by the rain and where the trot of the single-seaters, real high-speed vacuum cleaners suction, it was drying with the passage of turns.
At that juncture, the son of the two-time world rally champion (1990 and 1992) took advantage of a moment of truce given by the clouds with the stopwatch already at zero, and squared a turn that will go down in history.
Next to him, in the first row, Verstappen will start, while Leclerc will be the third.
"Really?" Sainz asked himself on the radio, when Riccardo Adami, his track engineer, informed him of the outcome.
It was a good lap, but he didn't think it was that special.
What better place than this to get something so special”, continued the protagonist of the day.
“Bravo for Carlos!” congratulated Mattia Binotto, director of the Scuderia.
“This shows that he is gaining confidence with the car, as was seen in Canada.
And that was not easy, because he had to constantly adapt to the state of the track, and the tires”, settled the Italian executive.
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