George Russell has claimed his first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix victory after holding off teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Russell joined Mercedes ahead of the 2022 season and has come close to standing atop the podium multiple times, but on Monday it was his day.
The Brazilian Grand Prix once again produced plenty of highlights with pure carnage unfolding throughout the opening laps.
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Daniel Ricciardo’s day came to an end on the first lap after he hit the back of Kevin Magnussen, knocking him out of the race. Out in front Russell avoided the chaos and drove a brilliant race to secure his first taste of F1 victory.
Despite not being in the podium hunt, there was major Red Bull drama with Max Verstappen ordered by the team to let Sergio Perez past on the final lap of the race. Verstappen refused and crossed ahead of his teammate.
Perez is locked in a tense battle with Leclerc for second in the drivers standings, all tied up on 290, and the added points would have been a big boost. A frosty exchange unfolded after the race with Verstappen providing a blunt response for holding his spot.
“Max, let Checo through please… Max, what happened?” Christian Horner said over the radio.
Verstappen responded: “I told you already last time, you guys don’t ask that again to me, OK? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”
After crossing the line, Perez had a simple response to Verstappen failing to comply: “It shows who he really is”.
As he made his way into the paddock Perez was even more dumbfounded and didn’t hide his anger at his teammates’ decision making.
“I don’t understand why he didn’t give me the position, even with everything I have done for him. If he has two titles, it’s because of my help!” Perez said.
Red Bull boss Helmut Marko said the team had cleared the air internally and Max’s focus at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi would be centred around helping Perez claim second place in the standings.
“At Abu Dhabi Max will do everything possible for Checo to get 2nd place in the drivers championship. Everything is cleared up internally. That’s the goal for Abu Dhabi,” Marko said.
Fans couldn’t believe what they’d seen unfold and the disregard the back-to-back world champion showed to his own team.
F1 presenter Matt Gallagher wrote: “Why should Perez ever help Verstappen again after that radio message.”
ESPN’s Nate Saunders wrote: “Absolutely no doubts now about the power dynamics at Red Bull with Verstappen-Perez.”
One fan wrote: “Max Verstappen has to be one of the most unlikable athletes on the planet.”
BRAZIL GRAND PRIX RESULTS
1: George Russell – 2: Lewis Hamilton
3: Carlos Sainz – 4: Charles Leclerc
5: Fernando Alonso – 6: Max Verstappen
7: Sergio Perez – 8: Esteban Ocon
9: Valtteri Bottas – 10: Lance Stroll
11: Sebastian Vettel – 12: Pierre Gasly
13: Zhou Guanyu – 14: Mick Schumacher
15: Alex Albon – 16: Nicholas Latifi
17: Yuki Tsunoda
DNF: Lando Norris, Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo
George Russell, the young British star, has romped away to victory in Brazil ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.
After claiming the sprint race on Sunday, Russell was miles ahead of the field all race long and avoided the carnage unfolding behind him as he claimed the chequered flag.
Hamilton pushed him over the final 10 laps following a late safety car, but it was Russell’s day.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished third ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc who pleaded with the team to let him past with second place in the drivers standings on the line.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso produced a stunning drive to finish fifth after starting 18th on the grid ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
GEORGE RUSSELL WINS HIS FIRST EVER F1 GRAND PRIX! 🏆
IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT 🙌 pic.twitter.com/AxsWlaZao4
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) November 13, 2022
That is an absolutely sensational drive from George Russell.
To have Hamilton chasing you down for the last 12 laps and not make ONE mistake.
The toughest test… passed with FLYING colours
— Matt Gallagher (@MattyWTF1) November 13, 2022
George Russell is cruising towards his first ever Formula 1 victory as the battle unfolds behind him.
Lewis Hamilton sits behind his teammate with the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc next.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso is flying around the track and after starting the race from 18th on the grid, he moved up to fifth.
Max Verstappen at one stage in the early going was last but picked off his teammate Sergio Perez to move into sixth. The loss of positions for Perez means the battle for second in the drivers standings is now all locked up.
Esteban Ocon wasn’t having any of what Alpine engineers had to say as the safety car made its way around Interlago.
After almost coming together during the sprint race and with his faster teammate Fernando Alonso behind him, Alpine gave the orders to effectively not fight Alonso when he closes in and allow him to pass.
Ocon wasn’t listening as he quickly shut it down, exclaiming back to his engineers that needed to let him race.
— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) November 13, 2022
OOFT ALPINE TEAM ORDERS AND ESTEBAN SAYS NO
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) November 13, 2022
After the race got back underway however Alonso quickly went past his teammate and moved up into sixth place.
It’s all gone horribly wrong for McLaren today with Lando Norris’ car coming to a halt at turn 10. The exact same location where Daniel Ricciardo crashed out.
Norris lost power and pulled off to the side of the track. After marshalls weren’t able to move the McLaren safely out of the way, a full safety car was called. Game on for the final 15 laps.
📻 Russell: “So what are we doing, are we racing or securing the 1-2?”
— Motorsport.com (@Motorsport) November 13, 2022
Lewis Hamilton has been scorching around the Brazilian track after earlier being involved in an incident with Max Verstappen.
The seven-time world champion entered the pits on lap 29 and quickly began flying around the track as he picked his way through the field. Getting the better of Sergio Perez and moving into second place to give Mercedes a one-two for right now.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 13, 2022
The race leaders entered the pits with Red Bull and Sergio Perez attempting to undercut Mercedes and George Russell.
A lightning quick pit stop for Perez wasn’t enough to get it done with Russell stopping one lap later and coming out ahead of his nearest rival.
We’re close to being a third of the way through the Brazil Grand Prix so let’s take stock of where things stand.
George Russell has avoided the carnage behind him and sits clear of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz hit the pits after lap 18 to switch from mediums to softs.
Russell, Perez, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Lando Norris is the top five after 20 laps.
So far we’ve yet to complete a full lap without some carnage in Brazil.
After the race restart Lewis Hamilton was left a sitting duck as Max Verstappen tried to swoop around the outside of turn one. The F1 champions collided, forcing both men to slowly make their way around track. Verstappen was forced to pit for a new front wing.
Replays seemed to show Hamilton not leaving Verstappen enough room through the opening corners and collecting the front wing of the Red Bull as he attempted to shut the door on an overtake. The stewards saw things differently and handed Verstappen a five-second time penalty.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 13, 2022
Only a handful of corners later there was more contact, this time between Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc. The coming together sent Leclerc off the track and into the barrier. “He’s a dick,” Leclerc said after being bumped off the track by Norris.
The incident resulted in Norris being handed a five-second time penalty.
— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) November 13, 2022
Daniel Ricciardo’s second last race in the McLaren has come to an early end after an opening lap crash left his car in the barriers.
Ricciardo clipped the back of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, causing the Haas to spin and in the fallout as Ricciardo attempted to go around he was wiped out.
The safety car was deployed immediately with Mercedes’ George Russell and Lewis Hamilton off to a brilliant start.
“It’s all going to go horribly wrong… that is 100 per cent Daniel’s fault,” Martin Brundle said on Sky Sports.
“That was a shame. I’ve got to give that 100 per cent to Daniel I’m afraid.
“In a way you can say don’t roll backwards, jam your foot on the brakes – he had to let it roll backwards and get out the way.”
Great start and then all of a sudden Danny Ric just forgot how to drive? #BrazilGP
— Alessandro Barbosa (@CaptionBarbosa) November 13, 2022
— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) November 13, 2022
Tyres will be a key topic throughout the race today on the searing Interlagos track and while the speed is with the soft compound, teams will be forced to use a set of mediums at some stage.
Strategy will come into play more than ever today in deciding the race winner. Here’s what tyres all the drivers are starting on
LEC, SAI, MAG, MSC, STR, ALO, LAT and TSU all start on mediums 🟡
ALB is on hards ⚪️
— Autosport (@autosport) November 13, 2022