Carlos Sainz ended his wait for a first race win in Formula 1 at the British Grand Prix, taking his first win on his 150th attempt.
The Ferrari driver was followed by Sergio Perez of Red Bull, 3.779 seconds behind the Spaniard, and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in one of the most competitive races this season.
The race itself will probably be remembered for a first-lap crash that sent Zhou Guanyu sliding over the barriers upside down. But the Alfa Romeo driver managed to escape without any serious injuries.
The win for Sainz, who looked good throughout the weekend before snatching the pole, ended a run of six successive Red Bull victories and made Sainz only the second Spaniard to win a Grand Prix after double world champion Fernando Alonso, who took fifth for Alpine.
The last nine laps were any F1 fan’s dream full of adrenaline-raising overtakes as Perez, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and Hamilton fought for second.
At one point the eight-time British GP winner Hamilton passed both drivers in one move, then went from second to fourth and back to third for his second successive podium.
Championship leader Max Verstappen finished seventh for Red Bull after being slowed by a puncture and damaged bodywork, his overall lead over Perez cut from 46 to 34 points after 10 of 22 races.
Leclerc, who had led with 12 laps to go, finished an underwhelming fourth after another dubious call by his team. The Monegasque stayed out during a late safety car deployment and was helpless against rivals who were on fresher tires having been pitted.
McLaren’s Lando Norris finished sixth and Germany’s Mick Schumacher finally got his first points in F1 finishing a decent 8th with Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen 10th.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel went from 18th to ninth for Aston Martin as only 14 drivers managed to reach the chequered flag.
Williams’s Alex Albon and Mercedes’s George Russell also got caught up in Zhou’s crash and retired with Valterri Bottas, Pierre Gasly, and Esteban Ocon also not finishing the race.
Verstappen still maintains a healthy 34-point lead over second-placed Perez with Leclerc still in third having to look over his shoulder as Carlos Sainz sits just 11 points behind his team-mate after the British Grand Prix win.