25 C
Brunei
Monday, November 28, 2022
25 C
Brunei
Monday, November 28, 2022
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    Russell sweeps to first grand prix win with Hamilton second in Brazil

    SAO PAULO (AFP) – George Russell powered to his maiden Grand Prix victory ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton early yesterday as Mercedes ended their barren run with a triumphant one-two at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

    The 24-year-old English driver resisted the pressure from compatriot Hamilton to finish 1.529 seconds clear of the seven-time champion.

    “This is just the beginning,” said an elated Russell after winning in his 81st Grand Prix.

    Hamilton, winner of a record 103 Grands Prix, added to Mercedes joy after a frustrating season.

    “Congratulations to the team and thank you – this is an amazing result,” he said.

    Carlos Sainz finished third for Ferrari ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc with two-time champion Fernando Alonso coming home fifth for Alpine.

    Two-time champion Max Verstappen was sixth for Red Bull after pitting following a seventh lap collision with Hamilton, for which he was penalised, and charging through the field.

    Sergio Perez was seventh in the second Red Bull ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin.

    Mercedes’ driver George Russell celebrates after winning the Formula One Brazil Grand Prix. PHOTO: AFP

    “What an amazing feeling,” added an emotional Russell after climbing from his car. “A huge thank you to the team to make this happen. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.”

    “Lewis put me under so much pressure.”

    It was Mercedes first win of the season and came in a sizzling and frantic race that began on a hot afternoon, with a track temperature of 51 degrees Celsius.

    The race began in spectacular style. Russell, who had taken the pole for the main race by winning Saturday’s sprint, making a near-perfect start, followed by Hamilton.

    Behind them, on lap one, Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen collided when the Australian’s McLaren clipped the Dane’s Haas and spun him before hitting him again.

    A Safety Car came out. The luckless Magnussen, Friday’s hero after securing his maiden pole ahead of the sprint, radioed in. “Sorry, guys,” he said. “I’m out. I got a massive push.”

    The race resumed on lap seven with another explosion of drama as Russell accelerated clear ahead of two collisions – Verstappen and Hamilton making contact at Turn One, where the Dutchman suffered a damaged front wing, and Leclerc avoiding the wall at Turn Six after clashing with Norris.

    Verstappen and Leclerc both pitted. Red Bull replaced Verstappen’s front wing in only 10 seconds before the champion re-joined 17th only to learn that he had a five-second penalty for causing the collision.

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