Motorsport News

George Russell Claims Maiden Win In Chaotic Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Leads Mercedes 1-2

George Russell on the podium in Baku, Azerbaijan, 2022, LAT Images

George Russell captured his maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix victory by winning Sunday’s (Nov. 13) Sao Paulo Grand Prix at Autodromo José Carlos Pace. Russell dominated the race from first place on the grid after winning Saturday’s sprint. The win is the first of Russell’s career in his 81st career start.

Russell’s Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton followed the younger Briton home to secure Mercedes’ first one-two finish of the year, a day after the Silver Arrows earned their first front row lockout of 2022.

“What an amazing feeling,” Russell told Felipe Massa after the race.

“This race was a really tough race; I felt in control. Lewis was super fast and then when I saw the safety car I thought ‘Oh, Jesus. This is going to be a really difficult end’ and he put me under so much pressure. But so happy to go away with the victory.

Hamilton indeed proved to be Russell’s only serious competition on the day, and gave merciless pursuit to his teammate over the race’s final 12 laps. Hamilton was unable to come within one second of Russell to utilize DRS and challenge for the win, the final margin of victory remained just over a second.

The Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc followed Russell and Hamilton to the flag for a third and fourth place finish, respectively. Fernando Alonso managed a relieving fifth after starting from 18th on the grid owing to a penalty accrued after contact with his teammate Esteban Ocon during Saturday’s Sprint Race.

Following Alonso were the Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez who both struggled to match the pace of Mercedes and Ferrari throughout the weekend.

Ocon, Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll completed the top 10.

The race opened with chaos as Friday polesitter Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo made contact in turn 8, eliminating both drivers from the race before the first lap had been completed.

Racing resumed following a six-lap safety car period, where Verstappen and Hamilton immediately made contact in turn 2, earning Verstappen a five-second time penalty to be served during his next pit stop. Verstappen suffered front…

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