Carlos Sainz claimed Formula 1 victory for the first time at the British Grand Prix, with his former team-mate Lando Norris joking it was “about time”.
With the Ferrari F1-75 firing the Scuderia back into the picture at the top of the pack, it meant this season would be Sainz’s best opportunity yet to become a grand prix winner.
It was not a smooth road to that destination but Sainz has finally reached it, converting pole position into victory at a thrilling 2022 British Grand Prix.
It was Sainz’s time with McLaren that had laid the foundations for a move to Ferrari, Norris his team-mate in papaya for the 2019 and 2020 seasons as the duo built up a strong bond.
Sky Sports F1 mentioned Sainz’s win as they spoke to Norris, who finished P6 on home soil, a typically witty response coming from the Briton.
That winning feeling 😍
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) July 3, 2022
“Happy for Carlos, it’s about time he won a race!” Norris quipped.
“So yeah, I’m very happy for him.”
Put to Norris that Sainz was the first to win a race among the pair, Norris replied: “I would hope so, he’s in a Ferrari which goes a second a lap quicker than me!”
He added: “I gave him a little hug earlier. I mean, we shared a lot of good memories in ’19 and ’20.
“And he got the first podium out of us, I got the first pole position, he finally got a pole position this weekend. And now he’s wrapped it up with a win, which I’ve not done yet.”
Norris also treated us to a battle of the Brits as he and Lewis Hamilton put on a show, Norris making the pass on Hamilton shortly after the race restart before Hamilton ultimately found his way back through.
This battle, Norris explained, is exactly what racing is about, going wheel-to-wheel with drivers who respect him and know the exact dimensions of their car.
“It’s always nice when you get ahead of someone who’s in a quicker car,” said Norris of his overtake on Hamilton. “So I made the most of it, I tried hanging on, but I also just let him go, I didn’t put up too much of a fight.
“Do you know what’s even better? It’s that all the British fans are really there, I was like waving and overtaking. It was a lot of fun, it’s a cool track to do these kind of things.
“You’ve got to have faith in the people you know. That’s what you really enjoy about racing is when you have faith in these people who respect you. They know the size of their car and you can go wheel-to-wheel. That’s the coolest part of racing.”
Norris finished behind the Alpine of Fernando Alonso, whom he had picked out as his main rival ahead of the race.
The damage was done in the pits when the Safety Car was deployed, McLaren bringing Norris in a lap later than Alonso, which gave the latter a ‘free stop’ and the position.
Asked what had happened to drop him behind Alonso, Norris replied: “We had to make the call on whether to stay on the hard [tyres] or box for softs, and we almost made the worst call we could.
“We boxed the second lap, so we allowed Fernando past and we also allowed him to have a free pit stop on us. Whereas if I had boxed first I would have been on softs, he might have tried to stay out on the hards and I would have gained that and been on the better tyre that way.
“So we just made the wrong decision, or we made the right decision but just too late and it cost us today, which is a shame, but apart from that it was a very good race for us.”