2022 Brazilian GP: George Russell wins for the first time after a chaotic day at Interlagos

Lewis Hamilton came home to take P2, half a second behind his teammate to make it a first 1-2 for Mercedes.

George Russell after winning the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix. (Image: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Nov 14, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


History was made at Interlagos on Sunday as Mercedes driver George Russell won the Brazilian Grand Prix after a chaotic race in Sao Paolo. It was Russell’s first ever race win in Formula One, a feat he had been raring to achieve ever since he made his Mercedes debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix two years ago. Lewis Hamilton came home to take P2, half a second behind his teammate to make it a first 1-2 for Mercedes since Imola, 2020. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz completed the podium, followed by Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

“What an amazing feeling … a huge thank you to the whole team for making this possible … it’s been an emotional rollercoaster this season, this race … I felt in control, Lewis was super-fast, and when I saw the safety car, I thought, “Oh Jesus, this is going to be a really difficult end.” He put me under so much pressure. But so happy to go away with the victory,” Russell said after the race.

Teammate trouble

There were disagreements both in the Red Bull and Ferrari camps over the same issue, who should let who pass? For the prancing horse, Leclerc asked the team to “think about the championship” so that he could pass Sainz for P3 to take leapfrog over Perez on the driver’s championship for second place. It was a similar story for Perez who found himself behind Verstappen in the closing stages of the race. Red Bull asked the world champion to let Perez past but the Dutchman denied.

Chaos at the start

There was chaos from the very first lap of the race as Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren clipped the Haas of Kevin Magnussen resulting in the elimination of both drivers. Magnussen, who was on pole for the sprint race on Saturday experienced jubilation and despair in the course of three days. For Ricciardo, his final season in the papaya for now is quite simply coming to a torrid end. The safety car was brought after the crash and the drivers went racing again on lap 7.

However, the chaos had not subsided. Russell led the pack from the restart and behind him, the two championship rivals in 2021, Verstappen and Hamilton came together as the Dutchman tried an overtake round the outside into turn one. “He left me no space,” Verstappen said. The world champion’s front wing was damaged in the process had to come in for a replacement. He found himself at the back of the pack when he came out.

Leclerc and Norris also made contact on the restart which saw the former go into the barriers. Fortunately, Leclerc was able to get his car out and running on track so another safety car was not necessary. Norris was handed a five second time penalty for causing a collision. Verstappen, who already had his own troubles with a damaged front wing, was handed a five second time penalty as well.

The all-important safety car

The safety car was called upon once again on lap 55, however, as Lando Norris’ Mclaren stopped right beside the track due to an electrical issue. As a dejected Norris stepped out of his papaya challenger, drivers streamed into the pitlane for new sets of tyres to give themselves an opportunity to score as many points as possible. The restart painted a scary picture for Russell who not only had Hamilton in P2 to contend with, but also Sainz, Perez and Leclerc.

However, the young Brit held his nerve brilliantly as he got a magnificent start and pulled out of Hamilton’s DRS range within a couple of laps. There was action behind him however as Alonso, Sainz, Leclerc and Verstappen all passed Perez who seemed to be having a difficult time with the medium compound tyres.



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