Excitement returns to F1 at the close of the season as George Russell takes his first ever race and sprint wins at Interlagos.
All the discourse swirling around the F1 community following Sunday’s 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix seemed to take on the character of a secondary school lunchtime such was the flow of gossip and hearsay. The Red Bull bust up at the close of the race when Max Verstappen stubbornly refused to move aside for his teammate has clearly been the source of so much speculation.
However, the main story, already overshadowed by the internal Red Bull handbags, should undoubtedly be focussed on George Russell’s first ever wins in Formula 1. The man from King’s Lynn reaped the reward of a strong and consistent season all while the Brackley outfit found themselves at a disadvantage following this season’s updated technical regulations. Furthermore, with Lewis Hamilton a close second it would appear that Mercedes’ disappointing season has been salvaged with some sunny Brazilian optimism for the next year, a Mercedes 1-2 a wistful echo of their own period of dominance. Russell’s performance had been electric since the start of the weekend, beating back a surprised pole-sitting Kevin Magnussen and Max Verstappen from third position in Saturday’s sprint race, thus taking his first ever win of any sort in Formula 1. Heading into the action proper on Sunday, having built on a significant upgrade at the Circuit of the Americas, it would be Mercedes that could best challenge Red Bull, the other teams sliding away at the back. A Grand Prix full of collisions and excitement saw the champion make a risky pass past Hamilton in Lap 7 that derailed both their races, this following Daniel Riccardo and the unlucky Kevin Magnussen making contact and taking them both out of the competition. George Russell was imperious at the front as he fended off a late challenge from Hamilton to dominate Interlagos and take his first of presumably many wins.
1 George Russell, Mercedes, 1:38:34.044
2 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +1.529s
3 Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, +4.051s
4 Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +8.441s
5 Fernando Alonso, Alpine Renault, +9.561
6 Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RBPT, +10.056s
7 Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RBPT, +14.080s
8 Esteban Ocon, Alpine Renault, +18.690s
9 Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo Ferrari, +22.552s
10 Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes, +23.552s
11 Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes, +26.183s
12 Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo Ferrari, +29.325s
13 Mick Schumacher, Haas Ferrari, +29.899s
14 Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri RBPT, +31.867s
15 Alexander Albon, Williams Mercedes, +36.016s
16Nicholas Latifi, Williams Mercedes, +37.038s
17 Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri RBPT, +1 lap
Lando Norris, McLaren Mercedes
Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari
Daniel Riccardo, McLaren Mercedes