Sainz beats Piastri to record quickest lap at Silverstone

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While Charles Leclerc's weekend at Silverstone was a complete nightmare, Carlos Sainz managed to save Ferrari's bacon by finishing fifth in an SF-24 that was actually not all that competitive. He also secured the extra point for the fastest lap as a small bonus.

The Spanish driver used his skill to good effect when things got really tough after starting from P7. He immediately overtook Nico Hulkenberg as he got away off the line and took up position behind Oscar Piastri. "It was a lonely race to begin with," said Carlos Sainz. As expected, the top three had quickly drawn clear. "But I caught up once it got a bit wetter!"

However, the SF-24 failed to display an impressive performance in the race as the Italian team's car appeared to be only the fourth quickest behind Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren.

As a result of the lack of pace, Sainz fell back and his race started to turn into a lonely one until rain hit the Silverstone track. The tricky conditions allowed the Madrid-born driver to reduce the gap on the man he was pursuing, Max Verstappen, from five to one second.

"I accepted slightly more risk than them," said Sainz by way of explanation for how he managed to gain time on the pack. "And then I thought to myself, we might be back in the race if this continues."

However, when the damp conditions stabilized, the leading drivers started to head into the distance. For the closing stages of the race, the track surface dried up enough to switch back to slick tyres.

Ferrari elected to mount the hards on Sainz's car which saw him record brilliant lap times, only slightly slower than Max Verstappen, but quicker than Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.

Despite the unexpected and impressive pace on the final stint, Sainz was unable to put himself back into contention for the podium places. However, the Scuderia still had an ace to play. The time advantage on Hulkenberg trailing behind Sainz was just big enough for one more pit stop on Lap 50.

Ferrari's mechanics switched from hard to softs in 2.32 seconds, making it possible for Carlos Sainz to snatch the fastest lap from Oscar Piastri on the final lap of the race - and the bonus point as well, of course.

Max Verstappen posted the third-quickest lap with a 1m28.952s on Pirelli's hards, followed by Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton who were ninth tenths and 1.1 seconds slower on softs.