Race Weekend Central

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

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.

See also
George Russell Steals Surprise Win in Thrilling Sao Paolo Sprint

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 wing damage while Hamilton continued on without issue.

See also
Max Verstappen Recovers to Sixth After Controversial Hamilton Contact

Five corners later, Lando Norris and Leclerc made contact in turn 7 which sent Leclerc firmly into the tire barriers, though the Monegasque was able to continue on and later rally to challenge his teammate for a podium finish. Norris acquired a five-second penalty for the incident just as Verstappen had.

Norris later triggered the final safety car of the race on lap 52 when his McLaren lost power and came to a stop in sector 2, requiring track marshals to move the car to a safe location.

Wills clashed within the Red Bull team as the laps wound down when Verstappen vehemently defied team orders and held sixth place to the line, perhaps fatally undermining Perez’s challenge for second place in the championship in the process.

2022 Formula 1 Heineken Grande Prêmio de São Paulo 2022 Results

The final race of the F1 season will take place on Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Coverage will begin at 8 a.m ET on ESPN.

 

 

 

About the author

Alex joined Frontstretch in March of 2021 and currently serves as the IndyCar editor, as well as contributing to Formula 1 coverage.

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