George Russell led a one-two from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Sao Paulo GP to claim the first Grand Prix victory of his F1 career; the win is also Mercedes’ first of the season; Max Verstappen finishes sixth after colliding with Hamilton in early stages
By Sam Johnston in Sao Paulo
Last Updated: 13/11/22 8:17pm
George Russell wins his first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix holding off Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win in Sao Paulo.
George Russell led a Mercedes one-two from Lewis Hamilton at the Sao Paulo GP to claim the first Grand Prix win of his Formula 1 career and his team’s first victory of the season.
Russell started from first after claiming the first Sprint victory of his career on Saturday, and never relinquished control of a dramatic contest at Interlagos on Sunday, which featured two Safety Car interruptions.
At the restart after the first Safety Car on lap seven, Hamilton and world champion Max Verstappen collided, with the Red Bull driver sustaining damage that forced him to pit and a five-second time penalty, before he ultimately fought back to finish sixth.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collide at turn two after the race restarted following the first Safety Car.
Hamilton dropped to eighth but brilliantly recovered to second, before a Safety Car that followed Lando Norris’ retirement brought him into striking distance as the race resumed with 11 laps remaining.
However, Russell stayed calm to keep Hamilton out of DRS range in the closing stages and crown a brilliant debut season with the team in which the 24-year-old leads the seven-time world champion by 23 points going into next weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.
The victory also offers significant consolation for Mercedes in a season where their eight-year streak of constructors’ titles was ended by Red Bull, and brings them within 23 points of second-placed Ferrari ahead of the final race.
Moments after the Hamilton-Verstappen incident, Norris and Charles Leclerc also collided, with the Ferrari driver fighting back from the back of the field to finish fourth, behind his team-mate Carlos Sainz, who completed the podium.
Max Verstappen refuses to let teammate Sergio Perez back through and is furious with Red Bull on the team radio.
Verstappen, who sealed his second successive title in Japan last month with four races to spare, ignored a team order on the final lap to allow Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez through to aid the Mexican in his battle with Leclerc for second in the drivers’ championship.
Perez had let Verstappen through earlier and been promised his team-mate would return the favour if he was unable to gain further places, but finishing seventh leaves him tied with Leclerc on 290 points going into the final race of the season.
More to follow…
Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Race 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) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin