Russell wins first F1 Grand Prix in Brazil

Mercedes secure their first race win of the season as George Russell takes victory ahead of Lewis Hamilton

Formel 1 - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Großer Preis von São Paulo 2022. George Russell Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2022 São Paulo GP. George Russell

George Russell has won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix, adding victory in Sunday’s race to a win in Saturday’s sprint.

The result gives Mercedes their first win of the season, with teammate Lewis Hamilton joining Russell on the podium in second, while Carlos Sainz completed the top three.

The safety car was out before the end of the first lap when Daniel Ricciardo tagged the back of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. As the sprint race pole-sitter’s car rolled back across the track, it collected the McLaren, ending both of their races.

There was drama on the restart as Max Verstappen put Hamilton under pressure for second, forcing the Mercedes out wide and resulting in damage to both cars. Hamilton dropped back to eighth, while Verstappen fell to the back of the pack after having to come into the pits for a new front wing.

Meanwhile, Lando Norris tried to find a way past Charles Leclerc, but he ran over the kerb and collided with the side of the Ferrari, forcing Leclerc off track. The Monegasque driver managed to keep his car going, but had to come into the pits for new tyres. Both Norris and Verstappen received five-second time penalties for causing the two collisions.

Hamilton recovered well from the incident to climb back up to fourth, while Carlos Sainz was the first of the front runners to stop for new tyres. The Spaniard’s Ferrari suffered a brake fire while in the pitlane, with the team reporting he had a tearoff stuck in the brake duct.

Sergio Perez pitted from second a lap ahead of the race leader, but was stuck in traffic on his outlap, ensuring Russell comfortably retained the net lead.

Hamilton was the last of the drivers towards the front of the field to stop, coming in on lap 30 to open up the possibility of a one-stop, with the drivers around him all seemingly committed to a second pitstop.

His later stop meant Hamilton was able to cruise past Sainz on newer tyres, before putting Perez under pressure for second place. The Red Bull driver fought hard, but the seven-time champion had too much pace with DRS on the straight.

However, when Red Bull brought Perez in for new tyres a couple of laps later, it forced Mercedes to stop Hamilton for a second time, despite the Briton protesting on the radio that his tyres were good.

Russell made his second stop on the next lap, coming out just a second ahead of Sainz, but he quickly got back up to speed to ensure he stayed ahead of the Ferrari.

Norris’s day came to a premature end when his McLaren lost power with just under 20 laps remaining, and the marshals struggled to clear his car during a virtual safety car period, forcing the race director to send out the safety car again.

Fernando Alonso was among those to stop for new tyres, rejoining just behind teammate Esteban Ocon. With the two having come together during the sprint race, Alpine instructed Ocon to let the two-time champion through, but Ocon refused, initially passing Sebastian Vettel on the restart, but Alonso’s pace on new tyres was too strong, and he comfortably found his way through.

Perez was the only car in the points positions on the medium tyre, resulting in him quickly coming under pressure from behind. Both Ferraris eased through, which was particularly welcome for Leclerc who continues to battle Perez for second in the drivers’ championship, while Alonso also moved ahead of the Red Bull.

Verstappen also overtook Perez late on, with the Red Bull team telling Perez he’d be able to repass Verstappen if the Dutchman couldn’t make up more positions, but the champion refused to swap back, leaving Perez three positions behind his rival for second in the championship.

Provisional result:

1 George Russell (Mercedes)

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

6. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

7. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

9. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

11. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

12. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

13. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

14. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

15. Alex Albon (Williams)

16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

17. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)


Lando Norris (McLaren)

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

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