Russell takes first win in Mercedes one-two after Hamilton and Verstappen clash

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix summary

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George Russell held off team mate Lewis Hamilton after a late Safety Car to claim his first grand prix victory in Brazil.

Russell converted his pole position to lead the majority of the race and take victory, while Hamilton recovered from an early clash with Max Verstappen to take second place. Carlos Sainz Jnr finished third, ahead of Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc.

When the lights went out, Russell got away off the line well and held onto the lead ahead of team mate Hamilton. Verstappen slotted into third place and was lightly kissed by team mate Sergio Perez behind through turn one, while Lando Norris jumped into fifth after passing Charles Leclerc.

Through the middle sector of the opening lap, Kevin Magnussen was clipped by Daniel Ricciardo entering turn eight and was sent spinning. As the Haas slid back across the track, it struck Ricciardo’s McLaren, sending it into the tyre barrier and both drivers out of the race. The Safety Car was deployed while the two cars were cleared.

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures
The race restarted at the start of lap seven, with Russell waiting until on the starting grid to launch up to racing speed. Verstappen tried to pass Hamilton through the Senna ‘S’ but the pair collided at the apex of turn two, dropping Hamilton down to sixth place and forcing Verstappen to pit for a new front wing. Further around the lap, Norris and Leclerc clashed into Ferradura, sending the Ferrari spinning into the tyre wall. Despite the accidents, all cars continued and the race did not require a second Safety Car intervention.

Russell now led Perez by under two seconds, with Carlos Sainz Jnr promoted up to third after Norris and Leclerc collided ahead. Verstappen rejoined the race with a new front wing in 17th, ahead only of Leclerc. The stewards deemed him responsible for the collision with Hamilton and handed him a five second time penalty, while Norris received the same for the clash with Leclerc.

Hamilton passed Sebastian Vettel and Norris to move back up into fourth place, which became third when Sainz became the first of the front runners to pit, taking a second set of soft tyres. Perez fell to over three seconds from Russell out front until pitting at the end of lap 23, switching to the medium compound. Mercedes called the leader in to respond a lap later, getting him back out ahead of Perez and behind Hamilton, who was yet to stop.

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Hamilton eventually pitted for mediums at the end of lap 30, handing the lead back to his team mate. Russell’s lead was now extended to around five seconds, with Sainz three seconds from the Red Bull and Hamilton catching the Ferrari. Sainz pitted just after half-distance for mediums, moving Hamilton up into third place who began chasing down Perez ahead.

By the start of lap 44, Hamilton had caught the Red Bull. One lap later, Hamilton used DRS along the pit straight to slipstream by Perez and into second place once more. Perez pitted for mediums but was covered by Mercedes who brought Hamilton in for soft tyres. Not long after, Russell was brought in to switch back to used soft tyres for the final 21 laps to take him until the end of the race.

On lap 53, Norris pulled off track on the exit of Bico de Pato, triggering a Virtual Safety Car. Sainz pitted and switched to soft tyres, dropping to fourth, before the VSC was upgraded to a full Safety Car.

The race restarted at the start of lap 60, with Russell leading his team mate Hamilton and Perez in fourth. Perez came under intense pressure from Sainz, who eventually used DRS to get through into Descida do Lago, with Leclerc following his team mate through a lap later.

Russell held a lead of just over a second to his team mate and maintained his advantage over the final ten laps, taking the chequered flag to secure his first career victory and Mercedes’ long-awaited first win of the season. Hamilton crossed the line behind his team mate to make it a Mercedes one-two, while Sainz completed the podium by taking third position, over three seconds ahead of his team mate Leclerc.

Fernando Alonso held off Verstappen in the final laps to claim fifth, while Perez finished second after fading over the final part of the race on medium tyres. Esteban Ocon finished eighth in the second Alpine, ahead of Valtteri Bottas in ninth, with Lance Stroll completing the top ten.

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2022 Brazilian Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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76 comments on “Russell takes first win in Mercedes one-two after Hamilton and Verstappen clash”

  1. Max, remember Abu Dhabi 2021. Without Perez, Mercedes would have won that race easily. Also, I don’t understand how Perez’s crash at Monaco was deliberate, since he was not on pole that time.

    1. Max is just such a brat.

    2. Incredibly disrespectful from Max, given how Perez helped him win the championship last year and has always played team orders as needed.

      In hindsight, team orders were likely not needed, as Max had better tyres and was faster anyway, but they were used so he should have respected them. He had literally nothing to gain personally, with both championships secured.

      1. Over the radio Verstappen said he has reasons. I’d love to know what they are.

        1. For all his success, he is still an insecure little boy who’s father never loved him.

          1. The press stories about Jos aren’t very nice!

        2. UFOs are real, bro. We’re past that. Extraterrestrial presence is well-known outside mainstream.

        3. The reason is, he’s a tool.

          1. I take that back. He just admitted, boasted, of deliberately attempting to take Hamilton out, once he saw the pass was not on, as he thought he couldn’t win anyway. He wanted to cause damage, even injury, to stop Hamilton winning. That’s dangerous, violent conduct, bordering on psychopathic. He needs an intervention before someone is seriously hurt.

          2. He wanted to cause damage, even injury, to stop Hamilton winning. That’s dangerous, violent conduct, bordering on psychopathic. He needs an intervention before someone is seriously hurt.

            The thing is, while his driving is bordering on dangerous quite a lot of the time, he only seems to go into the “red mist” anything goes mentality when he’s up against Lewis. Is there something specific about Lewis that he hates?

  2. See merc, this is the driver u are supposed to support to fight for wins.

    1. Merc doesnt do the wingman strategy, like RBR

    2. Looking at their performance in the race and their points in the championship, there isn’t really an argument to favour anyone. It’s 52% vs 48% of the team’s points split between the two drivers. And often, Lewis drew the short stick in terms of strategy. I don’t think there’s a significant difference in performance between them. Today, George did a better job, aided by his qualifying, where he actually spun out. It could have been much worse.

    3. He drove from pole in the fastest car. Didn’t race anyone. His team mate was crashed in to and caught back up.

      A fortunate day, but not one showing any more than Bottas started with.

      1. Do you really think bottas would’ve kept hamilton out of drs in the end? Cause I was really worried he’d lose the win because of the last SC, I’m surprised he managed to keep him at 1 sec+.

        1. @esploratore1 Russell’s softs had three laps less wear on them, so a small delta in his favour.

  3. Finally, a redemption for the lost win in 2020 Sakhir GP.
    What was Ricciardo doing, though?

    1. Oh man, it was heartbreaking to see those extra pit stops in Sakhir in 2020. Indeed, the redemption race.

    2. @jerejj Redemption for Sakhir ? That’s a bizarre take, luck tends to even itself out and If it was not for Mercedes in the first place RUS would be racing in formula E.

      Wish RUS was Lewis team mate in 2021 because he is a huge upgrade to BOT and the season would never go down to the farce ending in AD

    3. Way I see Riccardo/Mag incident is Riccardo backed out of a move but when he accelerated out of the corner Mag wasn’t ready to do so and they met in the middle. Ultimately quite clumsy.

  4. Can some explain why RB wouldn’t guarantee that Checo have 2 fresh softs in a Soft/Medium 2 stop race? Qualy had nothing to do with this since they used the extra S in Practice.

    Also, Max not giving up that meaningless position to Checo will come back to hurt him 10 times more next season. He is a child.

    1. Verstappen said ‘he has his reasons.’ Who knew? He’s been storing that resentment since when? And despite winning the championship? No doubt next season it will be all about Checo being ‘such a team player again.’ Verstappen seems to have completely forgotten the vital role Perez performed in holding up Hamilton at Abu Dhabi. What a man.

      1. Yes and with that message he basically told Horner to keep his mouth closed because he calls the shot. Max will beat Checo next year but this will hurt him in a close battle with Merc and possibly Mercedes. He is so immature that he has no idea the mistake he just made for no meaningful reason.

        1. I’d love it if Perez ended up costing him a championship by not helping in the future. What a horrible brat he is.

          1. I’d be fine if George or Charles takes a championship because Perez pulls over to let them pass.

          2. I’m not slowing down for max! (used to be nico – hamilton vs rosberg)

    2. Verstappen: ouch – that was particularly thankless and hurtful to Perez man.
      Just unthankful, unthinking and childish.

  5. After Verstappen drove into Hamilton and received a penalty, you mean. Tell it right please.
    Verstappen remains a complete j**k when it comes to racing against Hamilton, there’s no way he’d have tried that with any other driver. Ruined his own race, but what does he care? Seemed more interested in ensuring Hamilton had no chance of winning. Russell lucked into the sprint race qualifying position, but drove superbly in the sprint and the race. Totally deserved first win and congratulations.

    1. @david-br I knew you’d be wrong on this one LOL Max easily was alongside Lewis and Lewis turned into him. Ah why am I wasting my time typing… even if Max literally stopped on the track to let Lewis by, you’d still blame Max for som— oh wait, you did that already :D

      1. @neiana I see your point, but there is no way Verstappen would have keep the inside of the corner. From his onboard camera, we see he is drifting to the outside – colliding with Hamilton in the process. I think – I may be wrong – that’s why Verstappen was penalized.

      2. Lewis “turned into Max”, because he was making the corner, not because he wasn’t supposed to be there. It was “potato, potato”. Racing incident.

        1. Lewis was on the normal racing line into that series of corners..

          Max did what he always does. He created the illusion of being ahead by breaking later, but he really had no control with that move into turn 1. This is why he was penalised by the stewards. If Verstappen was half the driver he is made out to be, he would have held his position and waited for DRS to complete a fair overtake. The trouble with verstappen is he doesn’t think ahead. His idea of risk and reward is warped. He only has himself to blame.

          Lewis on the other hand was playing his part as wingman, protecting his position and Russell’s for the team.

      3. Easily alongside him? No he wasn’t next to him, no one blamed Max but the stewards themselves. How can you say Silverstone was HAM’s mistake and then push this one on HAM too? Funny.

        1. So you actually agree Silverstone was Lewis fault..
          Agreed.

      4. @neiana And when Ocon challenged Verstappen at the same corner in 2018 and they collided? Today was just another attempt by Verstappen to elbow his way past Hamilton, a reversion to 2021. Like I said, Leclerc wouldn’t have given up that corner either, being ahead, but neither would Verstappen have attempted to shove past. It’s only something he does with Lewis.

      5. We can’t have this nonsense where a driver goes for a gap when it’s not really on and then, in your eyes, the mugged driver should just move over.

        Thank goodness someone penalised such behaviour. The problem is now that all the lower position drivers think this is a great tactic.

        I blame Lewis back in 2018!! When Vettel lost control of the car at Canada and was rightly penalised, such was the outrage, they’ve then let anything go since, i.e. Max’s mugging on Leclerc a race later. Since then we’ve had this bizzare free for all – put your nose ahead from two miles behind and according to the likes of Brundle the position is yours.

        1. Listen to Max’s post race interview, he admitted he knew Lewis would close the door so he decided to drive into him as he had nothing to lose.

        2. @banbrorace yeah Brundle is never going to be boycotted by Red Bull. He should get an award from them although I fear Max has a list of reasons he shouldn’t.

          1. I don’t see Brundle as biased, I just think he forgets that it’s not ‘let them go racing’ at all costs.

            Rightly, Lewis has been condemned when he used to be the ‘lunge king’ (2011 season gives enough highlights to fill an hour. LOL!!). We simply don’t need it and really Max doesn’t need to do it. I get it when it’s Ricardo – the guys just desperate these days!!

        3. Brundle also towed the line on the overspend

          Bought and sold.

  6. Congratulations George. Very well managed with a car that was only marginally faster. Good comeback after a few weekends where he was off the pace.

    The Ferrari and Red Bull team orders drama. My God. I am happy no one did any position change.

    Carlos giving up pace was obviously difficult, Alonso was never more than 1.2s behind. It was too risky.

    But Verstappen could have. His radio message at the end was quite something. After all Checo has done for him, Abu Dhabi last year, Barcelona this year, that’s a bit too much. Brundle seemed to think it was Monaco. But that was a weekend Max was genuinely off pace. Don’t think it’s that.

  7. Both McLaren drivers are a complete clowns..

    1. They weren’t great today :-(

  8. Reverse psychology does work. When you believe in racer, they will mess up for sure. When you don’t, they win the race. Congrats to Russell. The first one to overtake Verstappen after Belgium this year. The first one to take the win instead of Verstappen. Great job.

    Alonso was MEGA today. After the team again failed him in the pits, he still managed to finish in top 5. What a race! He was incredibly fast, almost as fast as the best cars out there.
    PS: Alpine finally understood that Ocon is doing badly and races his teammates badly which costed them a lot this year. I literally can’t believe that this team can make correct decisions regarding their drivers.

    1. Max was a sitting duck in the sprint – each time.

      Today was simply a drive from the front in the fastest car with competitors compromised.

      Kudos to the Merc team, even if they were surprised by the car’s performance.

  9. Alpine finally understood that Ocon is doing badly

    Ocon finished 4th in Suzuka – no less – in front of Hamilton. I don’t know how that is bad. And Alonso was totally responsible for the clash during the sprint.

    1. That was a reply to Sviat .

      1. I agree that it was Alonso’s fault for the contact between them in the start-finish line, but what about the incidents in Jeddah, twice in Hungary, and Turn 4 here in Brazil?

        1. In turn 4 Alonso rode the kerb and lost grip. He is the one colliding with Ocon.
          As for the other incidents, I don’t recall them so Ocon may very well be at fault.

          My point is Ocon is a valuable driver, I don’t take side whether he is a good team mate to Alonso or not.

          1. In turn 4 Alonso rode the kerb and lost grip.

            Watch that moment from Alonso’s camera. Alonso was well alongside Ocon and was on the racing line and he wasn’t going off the road until Ocon started pushing him. The very same thing Vettel did to Alonso in Monza (for which Vettel got a penalty).

            You judge Ocon’s performance this year based on his race in Japan. That’s just one race. What about the Netherlands, Italy (Monza), Mexico, US and Brasil? Ocon was better than Alonso in two races (see, I counted Belgium against Alonso) and worse in five. I don’t understand how that can be called “doing a good job”, especially comparing a “young and promising” racer to a guy who is in his forties and who lost a lot of his speed.

            And please do not ignore that Ocon’s race engineer was very clear with his message that the Frenchman must not fight Alonso for a position. I don’t remember anything like that from Alpine. That firm stance from the race engineer clearly shows they are fed up with Ocon.

  10. Very nice drive from Russell. Good recovery drive from Hamilton.

    Pity Max hindered Hamilton’s race at the beginning, as I’d have liked to see a race-long battle between the Mercedes pair. But we might get some of that next season, if Mercedes keep up their strong recent development.

    1. @simon999 Shame we never got Lewis to challenge RUS after max dive bombed Lewis at the first restart and at the end it looked like it was team orders to hold positions.

      Odd weekend, RUS benefited from crashing out in quali as it effectively ended the session and during the real race at the restart he backed Lewis into the pack which caused him to get swamped.

      Hope Lewis gets his win in AD next week.

      1. I’m genuinely pleased for George, but Lewis must wondering which black cat he annoyed before the season started.

        Other than Kimi in 2006, I’ve never seen a season where all nearly the breaks go against one team-mate.

        But it’s great to see that George has evolved this season and for me, if the Merc holds up, he’s a genuine 2023 title contender.

        But I expect Lewis and Max to remind everyone why they are multiple world champions.

      2. @ccpbioweapon No, Russell was specifically told that they were racing to the end. Russell had a small tyre delta that was probably enough to keep him ahead. But it would have been nice to see how the race turned out if Hamilton hadn’t been punted off.

  11. Good job for Russel and Mercedes’. They needed a perfect storm to get a win this year and they got it in a sprint weekend where Redbull got their setup wrong in the only practice session.

    Hopefully they will be close next year so we get an exiting championship.

    1. Deserved win both sprint and main race. Maybe George had some luck in qualy but he and MB nailed it this weekend. Already predicted Max and Lewis would loose some time fighting but didn’t expect this. Lewis had some luck he didn’t suffer more and also with the SC but in the end he only made up the time he lost in the incident so deserved 1-2. I’m shocked that MB is suddenly up there but great race and looking forward to abu dhabi.

  12. Congratulations to George! Hopefully the first of many, he’s been brilliant this year! Great to see Mercedes come good at the end, hoping next season we may be on for a good year.
    I do hate how much the grid has separated out this year though, only Lando Norris has got a podium this year outside the top 3 teams, that’s really not good enough

  13. 1) Congratulations to George – first of many I hope
    2) Great drive from Lewis after MV’s failed attempt
    3) Alonso impresses again
    4) Max showing his true petulant selfish nature yet again.

  14. Not gonna lie, would’ve preferred Lewis to be the winning Merc, keep that consecutive win record going, but i can’t begrudge George. He did a fantastic job today and deserved the win. Well done George. If Lewis doesn’t get the win, he still shares the record for longest consecutive win streak (15yrs) with Schumacher.

    As for Max, petulant and reckless. And i’m kinda happy that he can no longer get the highest win percentage in a season. He can’t touch Michael Schumacher’s 2004. Michael won 13 out 18 races he started/entered. Thats (72.2%) start/win ratio

    Even Lewis’s 2020 and Seb’s 2013 have better stats:

    In 2020, Lewis’s win percentage was 68.75% (won 11 out of 16 races entered/started) and in 2013, Seb’s was 68.4% (13 out of 19 races entered/started). Even if Max wins AD, that will be 15 wins out of 22 races started/entered, which ranks at a 68.18-win rate percentage-Lower than Seb’s and Lewis’s!

    1. Ham has a good chance in Abu Dhabi, where he’s always generally pretty awesome.

      Either way, I genuinely believe that he sees the team as competitive again, as more important than wins

      1. Agreed! Lewis sacrificed a lot to ensure Mercedes has a competitive car. We are now seeing the fruits of that effort.

      2. Flat track with heavy braking zones and long straights? Max will probably walk it.

        1. It’s not the flat. And I’ve never seen the straights as that significant, because of that mind numbingly boring last sector.

          i.e. it’s not a Spa or Monza

          However, the remodelled corner, will favour the RB.

          Be interesting to see if the Mercs are as good there.

    2. The % to beat was Alberto Ascari’s 75% (6/8) from 1952. Winning in Brazil and Abu Dhabi Max would have beaten Michael Schumacher’s percentage but the chance to beat Alberto Ascari’s was lost many races ago.

      1. In a season of just eight races and no limits on number of engines used. Apples and oranges comparison.

        And that’s not to denigrate Ascari’s achievement in any way.

  15. A well deserved win by George. Hopefully Abu Dhabi will be competitive: Sergio vs. Charles for second place makes for a good story line. Looking forward to one more race this year!

  16. Just for the record, there were team orders from Alpine, Ferrari, and Red Bull, not just Ferrari and Red Bull. Ocon had a melt down when they told him not to defend against Alonso.

    1. i thought so at first, but as he quite rightly said he would get by Seb at the restart and then let Alonso by, and he did both. Pity for him about tyres.

  17. In the first restart after SC, Russell seemed to leave it very late before picking up the pace to racing speed. This meant that the field was closely bunched up behind himwhen they got to the first corner sequence, with the Red Bulls all over the back of Hamilton, leading to that LH-MV collision. That restart probably guaranteed Russell his win, but it was a shame that we lost the other two contenders at such an early stage on such a racy track.

    1. That was the first thing i thought of as Verstappen was closing on Hamilton. Russell was too late with the restart.

      The Mercedes is faster cornering. Russell could have restarted much earlier so the two cars had that cornering advantage over the pack. They could have shaken off their slipstream so the cars behind don’t get the benefit of the tow down the straight. Instead, Russell’s slow restart very nearly put paid to that Mercedes win. Had Verstappen blasted past Hamilton, he would certainly have caught and passed the Russell too.

      I also happen to think, when Russell made sure of beaching his car in Q3, he was effectively closing the door to Hamilton’s qualification, which would have been a blinder had it not been yellow-flagged. Once again he put the team’s result at risk. It’s a miracle Hamilton made up the places in the sprint from 8th to finish 3rd, and get that 2nd place, and then do the same in this race after his clash with Max.

      Today’s 1/2 mean Mercedes is only 19 points off Ferrari for second place in the championship. They’ll only do that if they work as a team.

    2. They all do the same at Interlagos. You don’t want to go too early and give those following a long tow before T1.

  18. What’s up with Leclerc pleading on the radio to swap positions with Sainz? I expected better of him. This sounded really cheap.

    Perez coming in 1-2 makes sense as RB wants to show they can dominate the season with constructors and driver 1-2. Leclerc wants to just spoil that? No one cares about someone coming second — that too by such a margin.

    Even Checo — I would prefer he does it by himself by being ahead of Leclerc in Abu Dhabi rather than relying on his teammate. .

    1. ” … in Abu Dhabi rather than relying on his teammate.”

      Has it been a year since then?

      1. Indeed, it’ not just Verstappen that has a very short memory. How ironic!

    2. Even Checo — I would prefer he does it by himself by being ahead of Leclerc in Abu Dhabi rather than relying on his teammate.

      Perez was only in the position of needing the swap because he had allowed a swap earlier.
      As to Perez relying on his teammate, really? really? ????
      Rely on a self-centred, egotistical, entitled, p.o.s, (have I covered all the labels people have used?)

  19. A great job by russell indeed, and an interesting race, I wasn’t sure he could for example hold hamilton off in t he end; alonso did great too, he was going faster than leclerc, overtook perez, had similar pace as verstappen.

    Russell took maximum points: win, sprint win, fastest race lap, and mercedes only missed 1 place with hamilton in the sprint to get them, well deserved win, and they had the fastest car, red bull and ferrari looked similar to each other, but slower than merc.

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