Lewis Hamilton is confident he will be in the mix for a first win of the season at Sunday's French Grand Prix, claiming Mercedes' struggles will make their next victory all the more satisfying.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton sits sixth in the 2022 drivers' standings, having failed to post a race win since losing the 2021 title to Max Verstappen in contentious circumstances.

The Mercedes star has been in improved form of late, however, recording three successive podiums after a run of seven outings without a top-three finish.

Having been badly affected by issues with the Silver Arrows' W13 car earlier this season, the 37-year-old is hopeful of a landmark success at Le Castellet on Sunday, in what will be his 300th Formula One race.

Asked if he had a realistic chance of victory in France, Hamilton said: "I hope so, that's what we're all working towards.

"I'm working towards getting that win so I do believe at some stage we will be able to compete with these guys, whether it's this weekend or in five races' time. The journey is the important part.

"I think we started off not where we wanted to be. We've made progress, and we've started to hit a patch of consistency. I'm really proud of the process. We've sharpened our tools in other areas, so when we do get back to where we deserve to be, I think we'll appreciate it that much more."

Hamilton has named Fernando Alonso as the toughest opponent of his career to date, as he professed his hope the 40-year-old, who has put together a run of six successive top-10 finishes with Alpine, will continue in Formula One for years to come.

"I think it's difficult to say who has necessarily been the strongest competitor because every time you're with someone, you're in a different place in your life," Hamilton said.

"I remember the task of being alongside Fernando when I was 22. I was so young mentally and, of course, OK in terms of skill, but it's a lot of pressure to go up against a great like Fernando.

"I would say on pure pace, Fernando [is the toughest]. We had some good battles.

"I wish we could have more. Hopefully he will continue to race, so hopefully we'll have more in the future."

Lewis Hamilton will step aside for the first practice session at the French Grand Prix this week to give Nyck de Vries his opportunity for Mercedes.

The Silver Arrows have confirmed that Dutchman De Vries will get his opportunity to get behind the wheel of the W13 at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Friday.

It is a mandatory Formula One ruling that rookie drivers get two practice sessions per season.

Mercedes tweeted on Friday: "This weekend @nyckdevries will be taking the wheel of W13 for FP1.

"Lewis has chosen this weekend to fulfil the first of two young driver sessions required by all teams this season. George [Russell] has selected one later in the year."

Hamilton secured three consecutive third-placed finishes before the mid-season break.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is hopeful the team can make further strides ahead of round 12 in France.

He said: "Third and fourth in Austria was a satisfying result for the whole team, particularly given the position we were in on Friday evening.

"The team worked miracles to have two complete race cars ready for the Sprint and Grand Prix. Twenty-seven points on Sunday were a good reward for that effort.

"We scored three podiums in the first seven races, and we have now achieved four in the last four. I'm pleased with the momentum we are building, and it reflects the mammoth effort of the team.

"Our understanding of the W13 is growing with every lap and it's encouraging to see that reflected in our development and results.

"While we were quicker in Austria, we still weren't quick enough to challenge at the front. We need to keep chasing those final few tenths and bringing new developments to the cars, including this weekend in France.

"Paul Ricard is a very different track and challenge. It has smooth tarmac and a wide range of corner types, along with long straights. The aim will be to make further inroads on the gap to the front and hopefully be back on the podium.

"Nyck is replacing Lewis in first practice this weekend, as part of the allocated sessions for young drivers this year. So, we're looking forward to seeing how he gets on."

Lewis Hamilton has condemned reports of racist abuse towards attendees at the Austrian Grand Prix, leading a host of other leading Formula One figures in affirming such behaviour has no place.

A packed crowd was in attendance at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with over 300,000 fans on site over the three days, which culminated in Charles Leclerc's season-reviving victory ahead of world champion Max Verstappen.

Hamilton drove to a surprise third to round out the podium after Ferrari's Carlos Sainz suffered an engine fire, further underscoring Mercedes' improvements after a strong finish at the British Grand Prix a week prior.

But the Briton, who has been the target of frequent racist remarks and attacks throughout his career, has called out allegations that some attendees were verbally abused as a product of "ignorance".

The 37-year-old had described reports of racist and homophobic abuse as "disgusting" earlier in the race weekend and doubled down in his subsequent statements.

"It just highlights that it's still an issue all over," the seven-time world champion said.

"It comes down to education and, of course, ignorance. People should come, should feel safe, should feel included and should be able to follow whoever it is you want to follow.

"[It] shouldn't matter [about] your gender, your sexuality, the colour of your skin. It should just be everyone here to have a good time."

Verstappen – whose partner's father, former Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet, was involved in a racism storm concerning remarks about Hamilton last month – also condemned the claimed abuse.

"I read a few things, a few shocking things, so that's clearly not okay," the Dutchman added.

Meanwhile, Leclerc called for bans to be issued to those responsible, adding: "If we manage to find these people, we need to take hard action. They shouldn't be allowed to be anywhere close to our sport."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner further added: "This is completely unacceptable, and we hope that security and the authorities deal with this swiftly as there is no place for it in racing or society."

Sergio Perez has claimed that Mercedes' George Russell was at fault for their collision on lap one of the Austrian Grand Prix, which ultimately ended the Red Bull driver's race.

Perez started the race in fifth while the Mercedes driver started in fourth, and the two came into contact with both drivers blaming the other for the smash.

They came together as both exited turn four, leading to the Mexican driver spinning off and ultimately unable to continue the race.

Russell too sustained damage to his front wing in the incident whilst also receiving a five-second penalty, and yet went on to finish fourth.

Perez was visibly frustrated with what had happened, and was quick to put the blame on the Englishman.

The Mexican told Sky Sports F1: "It is a big shame for us.

"I clearly felt, from our side, that we did everything we possibly could to avoid the incident.

"It was only lap one and it was up to George to control his car. He couldn't control it, clearly.

"We ended up making contact when I was clearly ahead."

Perez's failure to finish the race, combined with Charles Leclerc's victory, means that the Red Bull driver drops to third in the drivers' championship standings.

Meanwhile, Russell's fourth-placed finish keeps him in fifth place in the standings, one place above Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton aimed to keep "chipping away" at the Formula One leaders after continuing his strong form by securing a surprise podium finish at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion took advantage of Carlos Sainz's engine failure to snatch third place at the last in Spielberg, with Mercedes team-mate George Russell following in fourth as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc posted his first victory in seven outings. 

The result made it three successive podium finishes for Hamilton as the Silver Arrows continued their recovery from a disappointing start to the 2022 season – caused largely by the porpoising issues affecting their W13 car.

It represented another strong recovery for Hamilton after the 37-year-old crashed out of qualifying on Friday, and he was delighted to see the team slowly closing the gap on F1's leaders.

"I definitely wasn't expecting that, yesterday was a difficult day, and we have had a bit of a rough weekend," Hamilton told Sky Sports.

"As a team we got third and fourth which is great points, and we move forward from here.

"Firstly, I do want to say a really big thank you to the men and women in the garage who worked so hard to rebuild the car.

"I had a brand-new car on Saturday morning, and unfortunately it is something I don't do too often.

"We made some improvements this weekend, so we just have to keep chipping away at it.

"We're slowly eating into the guys ahead, but we have to keep going."

Russell, meanwhile, was hindered by making contact with Red Bull's Sergio Perez early on before making his own impressive recovery, but he urged Mercedes not to get too carried away with their recent improvements.  

"As a team we are still further behind than we want," he said. 

"The gap is definitely closing, but each time we've brought an update it's been at a circuit that has naturally suited our car, so we don't want to get too carried away."

Hamilton is sixth in the drivers' standings after 11 races of 2022, narrowly behind Russell, though neither has claimed a race win this term. 

Lewis Hamilton is "disgusted and disappointed" amid reports of racist, homophobic and abusive behaviour by spectators at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull Ring plays host to Formula One this weekend, but the behaviour of supporters has already been repeatedly in the spotlight.

Mercedes driver Hamilton questioned the crowd after many cheered a crash involving the seven-time world champion on Friday.

The 37-year-old labelled the reaction of supporters as "mind-blowing", with many supporting home favourite Max Verstappen, who was jeered by sections of the crowd at the British Grand Prix last weekend.

The race weekend at Spielberg has also seen reports of sexist and homophobic abuse, and the F1 released a statement saying they were investigating the matters on Sunday.

Hamilton has since taken to Instagram to condemn the behaviour in Austria, where the abuse, as well as harassment, has clouded the 11th race of the season.

"Disgusted and disappointed to hear that some fans are facing racist, homophobic and generally abusive behaviour at the circuit this weekend," Hamilton posted. 

"Attending the Austrian Grand Prix or any GP should never be a source of anxiety and pain for fans and something must be done to ensure that races are safe spaces for all.

"Please, if you see this happening, report it to circuit security and to @f1, we cannot sit back and allow this to continue."

Hamilton, seeking his first victory of the 2022 campaign, will start the race in eighth, with Verstappen in pole after triumphing in the sprint on Saturday.

Formula One chiefs are investigating "unacceptable" behaviour from spectators at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The conduct of fans at the Red Bull Ring this weekend has been in the spotlight after Lewis Hamilton was cheered following a crash in qualifying on Friday.

Mercedes driver Hamilton hit out at the "mind-blowing" reaction of supporters, which are mainly made up of Max Verstappen followers at Red Bull's home race.

It comes a week after Verstappen was jeered by a section of the grandstands at the British Grand Prix, where Hamilton is a home favourite.

The race weekend at Spielberg has also seen reports of sexist and homophobic abuse, as well as other forms of harassment.

F1 addressed those allegations in a statement released ahead of the main event on Sunday.

"We have been made aware of reports that some fans have been subject to completely unacceptable comments by others at the Austrian Grand Prix," the statement read.

"We take these matters very seriously, have raised them with the promoter and event security, and will be speaking to those who reported the incidents.

"This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

Verstappen will start Sunday's race on pole after winning Saturday's sprint, while Hamilton – still seeking his first victory of the 2022 campaign – is down in eighth.

Lewis Hamilton has criticised spectators for their "mind-blowing" decision to cheer when he crashed in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying.

The Mercedes driver lost control into Turn 7 and skid into the barriers close to the Red Bull Ring grandstands, which are largely packed with Max Verstappen fans this weekend.

Hamilton was on course to challenge Verstappen for pole prior to Friday's crash, but he instead finished in 10th before being bumped up a place after Sergio Perez was penalised.

Speaking after making up one position to finish eighth in Saturday's sprint race, which establishes the grid for Sunday's main grand prix, Hamilton hit out at those who cheered.

"I don't agree or condone any of that, no matter what," he said. "A driver could have been in hospital and you are going to cheer that?

"It is mind-blowing that people would do that, knowing how dangerous our sport is. I am grateful I wasn't in hospital and wasn't injured.

"You should never cheer someone's downfall, someone's injury or crash."

 

Hamilton escaped unhurt, with the incident coming less than a week on from Zhou Guanyu's horror crash at the British Grand Prix when he somehow avoided any serious injuries.

Red Bull's Verstappen was booed by a section of supporters at Hamilton's home race at Silverstone, but the Briton is not a fan of drivers being jeered.

"It shouldn't have happened at Silverstone, and it shouldn't have happened here," he said.

Verstappen won the sprint to claim eight points and start on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix, while Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are second and third respectively.

Charles Leclerc does not want a repeat of the tussle he experienced with team-mate Carlos Sainz in the sprint race as he targets victory in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Ferrari drivers saw Max Verstappen race away from them in the sprint, the championship leader benefiting from the duel between Leclerc and Sainz to take the maximum eight points.

Verstappen eventually claimed triumph by 1.6 seconds from Leclerc, who insisted the Scuderia drivers must not risk losing time and wearing down their tyres by fighting with each other again at the Red Bull Ring.

He said: "I think tomorrow is going to be a long race and tyre management will be quite a bit more important compared to today, so probably tomorrow we cannot afford to do what we did today.

"We lost a little bit of time, but again when Max had the gap he also managed his pace, so we'll never know… but I felt like we were strong towards the end – probably stronger than at the beginning. Whether it [would have been] enough I really don't know."

Verstappen now leads the drivers' championship by 38 points, with Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who climbed from 13th to fifth in the sprint, his closest challenger. Leclerc is a further six points back.

The Dutchman has won five of the last seven races and has an outstanding record at his team's home circuit.

He has won three of the last four Austrian Grands Prix and also prevailed at the Red Bull Ring in last season's Styrian Grand Prix.

However, Verstappen labelled his tyres "tricky" and is not anticipating a routine success across the 71-lap feature race.

"We had good pace at the beginning and after that we were very closely matched, it was as a sprint should go, it was quite flat out," said Verstappen.

"I do expect tomorrow is going to be a very interesting battle again."

George Russell will start fourth in a Mercedes that appears to lack the straight-line speed to mount a serious challenge for victory in Spielberg.

His team-mate Lewis Hamilton will start eighth having claimed the final points place in the sprint.

The seven-time world champion has experienced an eventful weekend, crashing in qualifying on Friday and being involved in a first-lap collision with Pierre Gasly before fighting back from 11th to eventually get past Mick Schuamcher's Haas for eighth spot.

"I'm grateful I managed to survive out there today," Hamilton said. "The team did such a great job to get the car back together last night and this morning. A big thank you to them, and I'm glad I brought it back mostly in one piece.

"We are slower on the straights, so I had to wait until I was out of the DRS train to overtake the cars in front. That's why it took a few laps to get ahead of Mick. Hopefully we can race stronger tomorrow – fingers crossed!"

There are six world titles split between the two drivers starting 18th and 19th. Sebastian Vettel, who was handed a suspended €25,000 fine for walking out of Friday's drivers' briefing, finished 19th in the sprint following a collision with Alex Albon that sent Vettel's Aston Martin into the gravel.

Fernando Alonso's Alpine failed to start the sprint due to an electrical issue. Valtteri Bottas, a two-time winner of this race, is the only man behind Alonso on the grid after the Alfa Romeo driver incurred a penalty because of his latest engine change.

Lewis Hamilton is "incredibly disappointed" in himself after both he and Mercedes team-mate George Russell crashed out of qualifying ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

The precursor for Saturday's sprint race in Spielberg proved a dramatic one, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen taking pole ahead of Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Hamilton has yet to win a race this season after 10 rounds but looked good value to compete for pole until losing control into Turn 7, causing him to skid into the barriers.

That crash in Q3 ruined his chance of starting high up the grid on Saturday, with the seven-time world champion instead down in 10th.

Russell did not fare much better as he caused another red flag after spinning into the barriers at the final corner on a day to forget for Mercedes.

Team boss Toto Wolff told the duo they "should not beat themselves up", adding: "I'd rather have a fast car and a qualifying like this than not having the pace to be in the top four."

But Hamilton, who had been fastest at the start of Q2, was upset that he could not see out the job at Red Bull Ring.

"It was a big hit but I'm okay," he told Sky Sports. "I'm incredibly disappointed in myself ultimately and so sorry to the team who worked so hard to put this car together.

"I lost the back end into Turn 7 and that was that. I'm encouraged. I'm encouraged of course to see our performance. We weren't expecting for it to be as close as that today.

"That is a huge positive from the team but I am really quite far back [for the sprint] so I don't know what is possible from there. Hopefully I can make up for some lost time."

 

Following Hamilton and Russell's crashes, there was time for one final lap for the remaining eight drivers.

Leclerc and Sainz looked set to claim a Ferrari one-two, only for Verstappen – who has now taken the last three pole positions on this track – to post a time of 1:04.984

That was 29 thousandths of a second quicker than Leclerc and leaves Verstappen well positioned to surpass Alain Prost for the most victories at the Austrian GP (three apiece).

"It was a very long wait of course between the two runs," the Dutchman said. "That is never great as once you are in the rhythm you want to keep going.

"Also the track temperature dropping, the wind changing a little bit, but in the end it was a very tight qualifying and it is a really challenging track to get everything right.

"There aren't many corners but the ones you have are quite tricky and easy to make a mistake. I'm quite happy with pole but also tomorrow and Sunday you can get the points. 

"It's incredible to see the crowd here and see so much orange. It puts a smile on my face and hopefully we can make it a great weekend."

Verstappen leads team-mate Sergio Perez by 34 points heading into the weekend's action, while Leclerc is 43 points behind after failing to build on a bright start to the season.

After pushing Verstappen all the way in qualifying for the 24-lap sprint, which establishes the grid for the main grand prix, Leclerc is hoping to do likewise over the next two days.

"I just want to have a clean race," he said. "It's been five races where I've had a bit of a disaster on my side. 

"I just hope that everything will go clean in the weekend and we can finally score the points that we deserve."


PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:04.984
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.029
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.082
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.420
5. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.447
6. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +0.742
7. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +0.895
8. Mick Schumacher (Haas) +1.027
9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.119
10. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +8.167

Lewis Hamilton's optimism has been renewed by improvements to his Mercedes, as he now believes the team can compete for race wins in 2022.

Seven-time Formula One world champion Hamilton has endured a hugely testing season with the Silver Arrows.

New regulations were always likely to threaten his place at the forefront of the sport, but Mercedes' bouncing car has caused unexpected issues.

Hamilton has not secured a single victory through the first 10 grands prix of the campaign – his worst ever drought from the start of a year.

In fact, neither Hamilton nor new team-mate George Russell have even finished in the top two; not since 2011 have Mercedes waited so long for such a result.

Yet a Silver Arrow has finished third in each of the past three races, including consecutive podiums for Hamilton – his second and third of the season.

The Mercedes superstar was even in position to challenge for the win at Silverstone last time out.

While Hamilton ultimately fell short, the performance of his car encouraged hope for the remainder of the campaign as he bids to record a victory in a 16th straight season, a potential outright record ahead of Michael Schumacher (also 15).

"With a bit more hard work, hopefully we can get closer to having a chance of winning," Hamilton said ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

"I truly believe we can get a race win this year.

"There was a long way back. Earlier this year, I definitely wasn't sure we would ever get a win in this car, but that was not the way we like to think.

"It felt there's a long way to catch everyone up, knowing the progress everyone makes."

Mercedes have five wins at the Austrian GP – one shy of McLaren's record of six – but Max Verstappen and Red Bull have triumphed at three of the past four editions.

Hamilton added: "At Silverstone, there was definitely potential to win the race.

"With our current performance, we are not at the same level as the teams ahead of us – we needed everything to align.

"We have always struggled in Austria, so it is going to be hard to win here knowing the combination of corners – but not impossible.

"The weather is up and down. I am hopeful we will be pleasantly surprised [on Friday], but I might be wrong. I am staying hopeful."

George Russell says Formula One must learn lessons from the "scary" Zhou Guanyu crash that overshadowed Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The race at Silverstone was red flagged early on after Russell was clipped by Pierre Gasly on the first corner and subsequently caught Zhou.

Zhou's Alfa Romeo flipped over, rolled numerous times and only stopped when hitting the safety barrier in front of the spectators.

The 23-year-old was stuck upside down in the car due to being wedged below the fence, with safety crews struggling to reach him as the race was delayed by an hour.

While Zhou later provided an update to confirm he was "okay", Russell hopes governing body the FIA will thoroughly investigate the incident so a repeat can be avoided.

"Firstly, I'm glad to see Zhou's okay," Russell said. "It was an incredibly scary incident, not just for him but for everyone in the crowd as well. It's never nice to see.

"It was horrible. In that position he was stuck there, with nothing he could have done. We need to have a think to avoid a car being stuck in such a fine gap.

"The space between the barriers and the metal fence and he was just stuck in there, nowhere to go. Yeah, something to learn…"

Zhou, who is debuting this season in F1, was taken to a nearby hospital for checks and released later on Sunday.

He put his lucky escape down to the halo head-protection device that has been used since 2018.

"It was a big crash and I'm glad I'm okay," he said. "The marshals and the medical team at the track were fantastic with their quick response.

"I also owe my thanks to the FIA and Formula 1 for all the work they have done, and they keep doing, to improve the safety of our cars.

"The halo saved me, and it goes to show that every step we take in improving our cars has real, valuable results."

Williams driver Alex Albon also required medical attention following a separate incident in the early throes of an action-packed race that was won by Carlos Sainz.

Albon was catapulted into the pit wall after being rammed by Sebastian Vettel, though like Zhou he escaped without any physical injuries.

"I'm very glad that everyone else involved in the first-lap incident is okay," he said. "Thank you to the medical staff at the track and Coventry hospital.

"It's a shame the race ended before it began today but we are already fully focused on Austria [this coming weekend]. Bring on the next one."

Lewis Hamilton snatched third place at the British Grand Prix and hailed his Mercedes team for making another positive stride after their difficult start to the Formula One season.

The seven-time world champion has secured back-to-back podium finishes for the first time this season, with Mercedes utilising upgrade packages to alleviate the issues they encountered in the first chunk of the campaign.

While they remain off the pace of the title-fighting Red Bulls and Ferraris, Hamilton believes the performance at Silverstone was another significant step in the team's recovery.

"I gave it everything today, trying to chase down those Ferraris. Congratulations to Carlos, they were too quick for us today," he said.

"In the end, I was in amongst that battle with Checo [Sergio Perez], those guys were just too quick on the straights for me today.

"I'm so grateful for the hard work all the team did to make an upgrade here, we got a step closer to them, so we need to keep pushing."

Hamilton, who was congratulated after the race by Hollywood star Tom Cruise, said: "We lost a bit of time in the pit stop, then I was chasing and chasing and chasing, but the pace was great on both sets of tyres. At the end, it was a little bit difficult; once you get a Red Bull behind you, they are so fast on the straights. 

"We've got some improvements to make, but this is a huge bonus for to be on the podium."

Hamilton paid tribute to the home fans at Silverstone following what has been a record-breaking attendance for the British Grand Prix, with over 400,000 attending across the four days.

"I have to give it up for this crowd, we've had the biggest show in history for an event in the UK, so I really have to say thank you to everyone for incredible support," he added.

"We don't see this anywhere else around the world, this is literally the greatest group we get to see."

Carlos Sainz secured the first win of his Formula One career in a dramatic British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where Zhou Guanyu was involved in a huge crash.

The 10th race of the 2022 F1 season saw another significant swing in the title race, with Max Verstappen's lead over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez taking a dent after the defending champion sustained floor damage.

Sainz's victory – in his 150th grand prix start – was not as comfortable as he would have liked, with the opportunity seemingly having passed as Ferrari ordered him to relinquish his position to team-mate Charles Leclerc as he lacked pace but then benefited from a late safety car, retaking the lead after changing to soft tyres.

A terrifying crash on the opening lap involving five cars left George Russell, Alex Albon and Zhou out of the race and a red flag waving, with the latter left upside down and stuck inside his Alfa Romeo for a lengthy period before being taken away on a stretcher, though thankfully the message from the team was that he was okay.

Under the red flag restart, the initial grid order was reinstated and Verstappen, who had overtaken Sainz, was unable to repeat his feat, while Perez had contact with Leclerc that resulted in the Mexican driver tumbling down the order after an early pit stop.

An error from Sainz on lap 10 saw the Spaniard run wide and onto the grass, with Verstappen taking the opportunity to seize the lead, but his advantage lasted just two laps as he ran over a piece of debris and suffered floor damage, resulting in a significant loss of pace even after a pit stop.

Sainz pitted at the end of lap 20, with Leclerc following suit six laps later to leave Hamilton in the lead, but a slow pit on lap 34 left him adrift of the two Ferraris, putting Leclerc in the lead after Ferrari swapped positions prior to Hamilton's stop.

Esteban Ocon's breakdown on the old pit straight on lap 39 resulted in a safety car, with Leclerc, who did not pit for soft tyres, overtaken by Sainz – leaving Leclerc, Hamilton and Perez fighting for a podium finish and exchanging positions multiple times.

Perez's promising push

Perez's early pit stop looked to have ended his hopes of a podium finish, but he was a major beneficiary of the safety car as it allowed him to take his required pit stop without losing time, sitting fourth for the restart.

A thrilling battle with Hamilton and Leclerc saw him go wheel-to-wheel with both drivers before taking them both, securing a second-place finish that moved him 34 behind Verstappen in the championship standings. 

Russell's record ends

Russell headed into his home Grand Prix with the tag of Mr Consistent, standing as the only driver in 2022 to finish all nine rounds in the top five, but that run came to an end at Silverstone following the collision that resulted in a red flag.

The early end to his race also means he finished behind Hamilton for the second race in a row – the first time since his move to Mercedes that he has been outperformed by his team-mate in back-to-back race weekends.

IN THE POINTS

1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +3.779
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +6.225
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +8.546
5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +9.571
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +11.943
7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +18.777
8. Mick Schumacher (Haas) +18.995
9. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +22.356
10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +24.590

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 181
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 147
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 138
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 127
5. George Russell (Mercedes) 111

Constructors

1. Red Bull 328
2. Ferrari 265
3. Mercedes 204
4. McLaren 73
5. Alpine 67

George Russell has explained Mercedes' protest after they were unable to restart the British Grand Prix following a red flag after a "unique scenario" on the opening lap.

The British driver collided with Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu in a huge collision heading into the first corner, which left Zhou's car skidding off upside down into the barrier.

Zhou was retrieved from the vehicle and eventually stretchered away. It was later confirmed that the Chinese driver was conscious, with the incident leading to a delay of almost an hour as the barrier was repaired after the crash.

Zhou, Williams' Alex Albon and Russell were all unable to take to the grid however, though Mercedes tried to protest with the FIA by arguing that Russell had only exited his car in order to check on Zhou.

"I jumped out of the car to see if he was okay, I saw it was red flagged. When I came back to the car, I couldn't get it started, so I ran down to the team to check, I told the marshals to leave it but when I got back the car was on the back of the flatbed," he explained to Sky Sports F1.

"Apparently when you get assistance, you can't restart. The car just had the puncture and there was no doubt that we had the pace to come back to P6 today. 

"We were trying but the FIA were pretty adamant, it's one of those unique scenarios I guess. I can't really think about it too much at the moment."

Russell's collision with Zhou came after a bold decision from Mercedes to start on the hard-compound tyre, which he conceded was ultimately not the right call.

"Ultimately, we took a risk starting on the hard because I made a mistake in qualifying, we started out of position and we thought the risk gave us the best opportunity later in the race but there was no grip on the hardest compound, it's cold out there, I got swamped by all the cars," he said.

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