Carlos Sainz victory at Silverstone led to Ferrari camp split, claims ex-employee

The Spanish driver had to bite back at a directive to protect his teammate’s lead in the closing stages of the race

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Carlos Sainz celebrated his maiden Formula One victory at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, as he raced to first place in the last 10 laps following a Safety Car being deployed and a quick tyre switch.

The Ferrari man moved to soft compounds for the closing stages - as did a host of challengers behind him - but teammate Charles Leclerc, leading the race at the time, was unable to follow suit and ultimately finished fourth.

While there were widespread celebrations at Sainz’s first win, coming on his 150th F1 start, it has been suggested by a former Ferrari employee that not everybody within the team felt quite the same way.

Each driver has their team behind the scenes and the suggestion is that Leclerc’s were so unhappy at the way the race finale panned out that they baulked at having to partake in the overall team celebrations after the chequered flag.

“I have been told – and I trust the source – an ugly episode that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Silverstone race,” wrote Alberto Antonini, noted as Ferrari’s former press officer, in a column for formulapassion.it.

“Part of the Ferrari staff allegedly refused, at least initially, to attend the podium ceremony and photo op. If true, as I fear, this is not a good sign.

“A little healthy rivalry inside the garage is fine, it is fine for each mechanic and each technician to cheer for ‘his’ driver, but the common interest must be to aim to win.”

The potential Ferrari division may also have arisen due to an initial call over the radio that Sainz should help to protect Leclerc’s lead, with Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez - both of whom went on to claim podium spots - looking to overtake.

Sainz pushed back against that and insisted he had the pace to claim the victory, which ultimately proved to be the case.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has suggested that Hamilton and Mercedes gifted Ferrari the win by not putting the Brit onto soft tyres a few laps earlier, when he pitted and switched to hard compounds prior to the Safety Car emerging.

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