F1: Russell outduels Hamilton to win Sao Paulo GP

George Russell started from pole, never put a wheel wrong, and outdueled his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton after a Safety Car period to score his first ever F1 win in the Sao Paulo GP.

When the track went green again with 10 laps to go, Russell gapped Hamilton by over 1-second and Hamilton was never able to get within 1-second to get DRS over the final laps and had to settle for 2nd.

Race winner, George Russell

“What an amazing feeling. it’s been an emotional rollercoaster this season, even this race,” said a happy Russell who also won the Sprint race on Saturday and had the fastest lap on Sunday.

“Lewis was superfast and when I saw the Safety Car I thought Jesus, this is going to be hard. On the in-lap, the memories come flooding back, starting with my Mum and Dad in go-karting…”

“We’ve worked so hard this year to get a win, so this is hugely deserved by everybody,” said Hamilton.

“We haven’t changed anything, it’s the same car as last week and as in Austin. It seemed to work really well here, the Sprint meant that there was only one hour to set it up and it worked really well. [Toto] is delighted for the team,” said Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director.

At the end, Hamilton had nothing for his younger teammate – Wolfgang Wilhelm

“He [George] had the win in Bahrain on his hands a few years ago, but today he drove it home, had the pressure at the end but brought it home. They are both Alpha drivers and this is good – we don’t want a puppy in the car,” said Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal.

The Ferraris of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc came home 3rd and 4th despite Leclerc spinning off into the wall on lap 1.

“Overall it was a good race, we had some problems at the start with the brakes on fire,” said Sainz.  “It meant we had to commit to a three-stop which wasn’t the fastest. A good podium after starting P7, we can be happy with that.”

Fernando Alonso was 5th just holding off Max Verstappen who broke his front wing and had to stop two extra times after coming together with Lewis Hamilton who turned right down on him in Turn 3.  Coming back from dead last to finish 6th was a great drive.

Sergio Perez was 7th in a bad day for the Red Bulls. Red Bull asked Verstappen to let Perez through at the end there, which he didn’t do.

Red Bull: “Max, let Checo through please… [he doesnt] …Max what happened?” Verstappen: “I told you already last time. Don’t ask that again to me. Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it”

Don’t ask me again! Max Verstappen of the Netherlands talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner and Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko at the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Today belonged to Mercedes, but there will be plenty of post-mortems going on up and down the pit lane tonight. Just what was going on at Red Bull with those late ignored team orders? The Alpine debrief might be a bit tasty as well, while McLaren won’t be happy campers tonight.

Abu Dhabi then. One to go. Will Red Bull bounce back and finish their dominant season on a high? Can Ferrari desperately try and sort things out and deliver one last strong result? Or will the rise of Mercedes continue?

Race Results – 71 Laps

1 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas +0.000s
2 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas +1.529s
3 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari +4.051s
4 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari +8.441s
5 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team +9.561s
6 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing +10.056s
7 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Bull Racing +14.080s
8 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team +18.690s
9 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen +22.552s
10 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant +23.552s
11 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant +26.183s
12 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen +29.325s
13 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team +29.899s
14 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri +31.867s
15 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing +36.016s
16 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing +37.038s
17 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri +1 Lap
DNF Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team  DNF
DNF Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team  DNF
DNF Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team  DNF



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