Brazilian GP: Russell secures first F1 win on triumphant day for Mercedes – as it happened

Last modified: 08: 46 PM GMT+0

George Russell scored his first grand prix win in São Paulo, holding off teammate Lewis Hamilton for a Mercedes one-two

That’s all from me. Our race report will be coming up imminently. Bye!

Leclerc and Perez are level on 290 points each before next week’s Abu Dhabi grand prix, the final race of the season. Verstappen, of course, is out of sight on 429 points.

Russell is fourth in the drivers’ standings, on 265 points, with Hamilton fifth on 240.


On Verstappen’s decision not to give that place back, Karun Chandhok on Sky says: “I think it’s a bit of a short-sighted decision … he might need Perez’s help next season.”


Verstappen tells Sky Sports F1 that he has told the team why he didn’t give Perez the place back, but that he won’t say in public.

He is asked if it goes back to the Monaco GP: He says he is not prepared to say.

Christian Horner says he thinks the five-second penalty for Verstappen was harsh, because he had edged ahead of Hamilton into turn one.

Verstappen is asked why he didn’t give the place back: “I have my reasons for that. We just discussed that … and I think it was better we finally just sat together and talked about it, and basically just move forward from here … For sure if we go to Abu Dhabi .. and he needs the help I’ll be there … but we cleared everything, why I didn’t do it.”

Sergio Perez is asked about his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen refusing to give him that place back: “I was told to let him by, that I was going to get back the position …

What is it about? “No idea, no idea, maybe you should ask him about it. Nothing to say really. After all I’ve done for him, it’s a bit disappointing, to be honest.

“I have no idea. I’m really surprised.”

Russell, in another interview with Sky Sports, speaks: “When you look in your mirrors and see Lewis Hamilton, I knew how fast he was driving … I’m just so proud of the whole team.”

How did he do it? “Just believing in myself. Believing in my team. We know when we put everything together we can beat anyone … when you do have Lewis as your teammate it’s difficult to keep on performing because he is just on it every session … I feel so grateful to be his teammate because he’s really, really pushing me.

“I always believed, when the opportunity arrived, we could be there to take it … the three years at Williams were really difficult for me … I knew I had to bide my time, keep on learning, and take the opportunity when it comes … I can’t say I’m speechless because I’m rambling away here.”


That was a really fun race. Russell understandably didn’t relish the safety car coming so late after Lando Norris’s car broke, but in the end, it ultimately meant that he reconfirmed his superiority over his teammate Hamilton, for this weekend at least. We’ll have a race report coming up very shortly …

Wolff continued, on Russell: “So deserving … when you think about how far he has come, from go-karting … hopefully it’s one of many.”

Toto Wolff speaks to Sky Sports F1: “It’s such a good result … they [Hamilton and Russell] are both Alpha drivers … we will manage this as good as we can [in the next seasons].”

Depending on how long Hamilton races on, of course, although that’s an interesting hint that he intends to continue.

Another bit of late drama: In the closing laps Red Bull asked Verstappen to let his teammate, Sergio Perez, through, which would have helped the Mexican in his battle with Leclerc for second place in the drivers’ standings.

Verstappen said: “I told you already last summer, don’t ask that again to me. OK? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stuck by it.”


Time for the national anthems on the podium … including the first ever rendition of “God Save the King” for a grand-prix winner.

And after all the excitement, the final standings at the Brazilian GP:

1 George Russell Mercedes Leader
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1.529
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +4.051
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +8.441
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine +9.561
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +10.056
7 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing +14.080
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine +18.690
9 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +22.552
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +23.552
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +26.183
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo +29.325
13 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team +29.899
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +31.867
15 Alexander Albon Williams +36.016
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams +37.038
17 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1L
18 Lando Norris McLaren
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team
20 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren

Russell speaks: “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.

“I’m speechless, on the in-lap, all of these memories sort of come flooding back …

“Starting off with my mum and dad in go-karting, and going through, and you know, all the support I’ve had from the rest of my family, my girlfriend, my trainer, my manager … I can’t thank them enough. Yeah, super proud.”


Hamilton speaks: “Firstly I’ve got to say huge congratulations to George, what an amazing drive he did today … he truly deserves it.

“To my team, so proud of everyone back at the factory. This is huge result, so a big, big thank you.

On the coming together with Verstappen: “What can I say? You know how it is with Max …

“I’ve had one of the best weeks of my life here. Excited to come back here again.”

Russell is in tears. The emotion for him is understandably huge. What an incredible amount of work he’s put in to achieve this … a massively deserved win, and a fantastic performance to do it too, with Hamilton on his tail after the safety car. He had to earn it.

George Russell in disbelief in parc fermé.
George Russell in disbelief in parc fermé. Photograph: Jared C Tilton/Getty Images


The celebrations among the Mercedes team are riotous, and why not? It’s not been an easy season for them and that’s a cracking one-two result.

Mercedes' British driver George Russell celebrates winning.
Mercedes' British driver George Russell celebrates winning. Photograph: Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images


I tried my very best … but finally a Kings Lynn driver has won a grand prix,” Martin Brundle remarks, drily. (Clearly he is very pleased for Russell.)

Congratulations to the team,” says Hamilton on the radio. “Thank you so much for your consistent efforts, this is a great result … congratulations to George, I am so happy for him.”


Russell, on the radio, is thrilled: “Come on team! Come on! One-two, unbelievable! This is just the beginning guys, this is just the beginning … so proud of all of you! Whooo!”

George Russell wins the Brazilian grand prix!

Incredible drive. Russell has his first grand prix victory! A one-two for Mercedes!

What a drive by the 24-year-old, holding off Hamilton for a magnificent win.


Lap 71/71: Russell starts the final lap and he’s 1.7secs ahead now! He’s stretching the gap! What a drive this has been …

Hamilton second, Sainz third.


Lap 70/71: The gap is up to 1.6secs for Russell!

Lap 70/71: Russell is still in front and the gap is 1.3secs! Hamilton doesn’t seem to be able to make inroads on the middle sector of the circuit.

Lap 68/71: Russell sounds cool on the radio. Mercedes are saying these two are free to race. Russell’s got a seven-times world champion and three-times Brazilian GP winner up his backside. Can Russell hold on?!


Lap 68/71: All the while, George Russell edges closer to a grand prix win … he is 1.1sec ahead of his teammate Hamilton.

Lap 67/71: Verstappen flies down the inside on his teammate Perez and is up to sixth!

Lap 65/71: Alonso is on an impressive charge for Alpine and is up to fifth …

Lap 65/71: The current top five:

Hamilton +1.350
Sainz +4.3
Leclerc +6.5
Alonso +8

Verstappen is up to seventh.


Lap 64/71: Leclerc now passes Perez! Mercedes are one and two, Ferrari are now three and four …

Lap 63/71: Russell is turning in a magnificent drive here and he leads Hamilton by 1.348sec.

Lap 62/71: Russell sets the fastest lap!

Perez and Sainz are duking it out for third place, meanwhile.

Sainz takes Perez and is in third!

Lap 61/71: Up front, Russell has just under a second lead over Hamilton.

Perez, on the medium tyres, is now 3secs behind Hamilton.

This is a shootout between Russell and Hamilton.

Verstappen, for what it’s worth, is down in ninth.


Lap 60/71: They’re off again! We are racing!

Russell looks to have plenty of pace in comparison both to his teammate, in second, and the rest of the field. Leclerc, who crashed earlier, is now in fifth place.


Lap 59/71: A bit of controversy in the Alpine team: Ocon is told in no uncertain terms that he should not be racing Alonso, his teammate.

“Let me race,” he says.

Lap 58/71: “Why is the safety car not coming in?” asks Verstappen on the radio.

Anyway, we are a few seconds away from Russell v Hamilton v Perez v Sainz!

Perez of Red Bull is on mediums.

Lap 57/71: A victory for Hamilton would mean so much after a season of frustration … but a first grand prix win for Russell would surely be more special?

They have both pitted twice and are both on soft tyres … so in theory it’s all to play for after the safety car.


Lap 56/71: Safety car still out. Mercedes have a one-two on track. How are Russell and Hamilton going to play this when the race resumes?

“Lewis is entitled to go for it,” observes Brundle.

Safety car!

Three stewards are trying to move Norris’s car, but anyway, the safety car is out.

The safety car leads the way.
The safety car leads the way. Photograph: Antonin Vincent/DPPI/REX/Shutterstock


Lap 54/71: Sainz pits … It’s a one-two again for Mercedes on track.

Norris’s car is yet to budge. Will we see the safety car?

“As long as Norris’s car can go to neutral, and they can roll it away, it will stay a VSC,” reckons Brundle.


Lap 53/71: Lando Norris’s McLaren has ground to a halt on the circuit. We have a virtual safety car.


Roberto Carlos!

Max Verstappen, Roberto Carlos and Christian Horner.
Max Verstappen, Roberto Carlos and Christian Horner. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lap 51/71: Hamilton sets a new fastest lap: 1.14.103

“Extremely fast,” says Brundle on commentary.

Russell still leads, Sainz second, Hamilton third. The gap between second and third is 4.557 secs.


Lap 50/71:

Hamilton on the radio, presumably regarding that pit stop: “Why? What the hell?”

Team: “The softer tyres are faster throughout.”

Lap 49/71: The current top 10 below.

Hamilton pits. “My tyres are good!” he shouts. He re-emerges behind Sainz, now in third place.

  1. George Russell Mercedes Leader 1

  2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +22.297 2

  3. Carlos Sainz Ferrari +30.782 2

  4. Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing +33.252 2

  5. Fernando Alonso Alpine +57.142 2

  6. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +55.367 3

  7. Esteban Ocon Alpine +64.958 2

  8. Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +66.702 1

  9. Lance Stroll Aston Martin +67.143 2

  10. Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +68.881 3


Lap 47/71: A very young, jubilant Mercedes fan is pictured in the stands kissing his Mercedes baseball cap, alongside his mum and dad, who I think are also sporting Mercedes-branded kit. Cut them open, they bleed Mercedes.


Lap 45/71: Hamilton takes Perez! The crowd goes wild. It’s a one-two for Mercedes on the track right now. Russell is 10secs ahead.

Hamilton gets the edge on Perez.
Hamilton gets the edge on Perez. Photograph: Antonin Vincent/DPPI/REX/Shutterstock


Lap 44/71: Hamilton is now fighting Perez for second place having relentlessly caught him over the last few laps. Perez and Hamilton are both 10secs or so down on the leader Russell.

Lap 42/71: Mercedes tell Russell they think they will be going for soft tyres for the final portion of the race and ask him what he thinks. His reply on the radio is too fuzzy to make out …

Lap 41/71: Ted Kravitz reckons the Mercedes strategy is all aimed at securing a one-two, as a priority over a win for either driver. That makes sense given the title race is long since over …

Lap 40/71:

The current top five is:

Perez +7.9sec
Hamilton +2.4sec
Sainz +16sec
Bottas +8sec

Both the Mercedes are going exceptionally well.


Lap 39/71: “If Hamilton does not win today, Verstappen cost him the result,” emails Edwin. “Come on Lewis, let’s win this. 30 more laps. It’s hammer time.”

Lap 37/71: Sainz of Ferrari pits.

Richard Williams, of this parish, is not impressed with that little coming-together earlier:

Honestly, why bother with these F1 idiots whose idea of racing is driving into each other? That’s entertainment, eh? Not for me. Ruining a perfectly good GP on a brilliant circuit. Not wasting any more time on them.

— Richard Williams (@rwilliams1947) November 13, 2022

Lap 34/71: Verstappen moves up to 15th place, slowly making progress following that coming together with Hamilton and the five-second penalty.

Lap 32/71: That’s the current top 10 below. Everyone’s been into the pits once. Hamilton is catching Sainz, having just set a fastest lap.

This could be shaping up nicely for Hamilton if the pit strategy pays off …


  1. George Russell Mercedes Leader 1

  2. Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing +5.344 1

  3. Carlos Sainz Ferrari +8.474 1

  4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +13.551 1

  5. Fernando Alonso Alpine +27.793 1

  6. Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +29.523 1

  7. Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +31.573 1

  8. Esteban Ocon Alpine +32.765 1

  9. Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +35.436 1

  10. Lando Norris McLaren +37.087 1


Lap 30/71: Hamilton pits! Are Mercedes going for a one-stopper for Hamilton, with most going for a two-stop strategy? Hamilton re-emerges in fourth place. The top three is now Russell, Perez and Sainz. Russell has 4.3secs on Perez in second.


Lap 28/71: Anyway, Hamilton leads his teammate Russell by 7.7secs. Hamilton asks if there is any rain in the air. His team says they don’t think so.

That said, the commentators reckon the sky is darkening ominously and looks like much more than the forecast 10% chance of rain. That would spice things up …

Lap 27/71: Sorry, for the avoidance of doubt, Hamilton is yet to pit. The F1 official site says he’s pitted once but that is incorrect.


Lap 25/71: Russell comes out of the pits in second – just – edging past Vettel. He’s 11sec down on Hamilton, our new race leader.

Hamilton is on soft tyres, Russell on medium.


Lap 25/71: Russell pits!


Lap 23/71: Perez pits from second place, so Lewis Hamilton is up to second. It’s a one-two for Mercedes … a lightning-fast stop for Perez with two seconds stationary.

Hamilton is 9.9sec down on Russell, his teammate. Vettel is third, Norris fourth, Bottas now fifth.

Lap 21/71: The interesting thing about that Verstappen/Hamilton clash is that it’s completely subjective. The stewards think Verstappen was in the wrong: Brundle, on commentary, believes Verstappen had done enough to be allowed some room by his rival. Naturally neither were in the mood to yield. To my eyes Verstappen definitely appeared to have more pace down the straight, he didn’t just under-brake to try and force his way down the outside.

It’s one of them ones, isn’t it?


Lap 19/71: Sainz of Ferrari pits. None of Russell, Perez and Hamilton, who is up to third, have been into the pits yet. Vettel in fourth and Norris in fifth have both pitted once.

Lap 18/71: The sub-plot between Verstappen and Hamilton is certainly fascinating. But it’s Russell of Mercedes who is up front, leading Red Bull’s Perez by nearly two seconds.


Lap 17/71: “Mark my words, that was a marker for winning in 2023 by Hamilton,” emails Hugh. “He’s not going to always yield to Verstappen like he did last season.”

Lap 16/71: Hamilton is up to fourth.

Told over the radio that he has been given a five-second penalty, Verstappen asks: “Where did they expect me to go?”

On commentary, Martin Brundle reckons it’s harsh on Verstappen, that he’d ‘earned the right for more racing room’. The stewards clearly think it was Hamilton’s corner and he had no obligation to yield.

The current top 10:

1 George Russell Mercedes
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing +1.652
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +5.397
4 Lando Norris McLaren +9.147
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +9.975
6 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +10.538
7 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +13.458
8 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team +14.685
9 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +15.860
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine +17.135


Verstappen gets a five-second time penalty for causing a collision!

Lap 13/71: Interesting. It’s the Dutchman who is penalised, rather than Hamilton, for the little touch after the safety car. Norris also gets five seconds for the coming-together with Leclerc.

Lap 13/71: Verstappen is down in 17th. He has a new front wing and is also on the medium tyres.

Lap 12/71: “He left me no space,” Verstappen says on the radio after the little shunt with Hamilton. Let’s see what the stewards make of it …

Lap 10/71: As it stands, Russell leads Perez (Red Bull) in second and Sainz (Ferrari) in third. The stewards are investigating Hamilton and Verstappen for that coming together in turn one …


Lap 9/71: Norris and Leclerc also touched and the Frenchman ended up in the wall. But Leclerc managed to get himself going again, so we were spared another safety car.

Contact between Hamilton and Verstappen!

Lap 7/71: Wow! Russell leads the pack down the start/finish straight as the green flag waves to restart the racing. Verstappen has plenty of pace down the straight and tries to force his way down the outside, past Hamilton, into the first corner. Hamilton tries to slam the door. It looks like Verstappen has made it, but the drivers touch, and Hamilton veers off the track … Verstappen comes in to change his front wing which was damaged in the coming-together with Hamilton.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen collides with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen collides with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. Photograph: Amanda Perobelli/Reuters


Lap 6/71: The stewards have said they will investigate that incident in which Ricciardo and Magnussen crashed out. The safety car is ending now …

Lap 4/71: Still the safety car. It was a brilliant start for Russell, as smooth as you like, anyway.

Lap 1/71: Safety car! Kevin Magnussen spins out, and Daniel Ricciardo clips him in the McLaren. The Haas and McLaren are both out of the race.

On commentary they reckon Ricciardo was having a look down the inside and Magnussen was looking to slam the door.

On replay, I don’t think Ricciardo thought there was space down the inside. I could be wrong. The Haas F1 team are pictured looking disgusted.

“I’ve got to give that one 100% to Daniel, I’m afraid,” says Martin Brundle.


Lights out!

Smooth start for Russell and Mercedes, who leads on lap one. Hamilton follows him into the first bend in second having also had a strong start.

George Russell of Great Britain leads the pack.
George Russell of Great Britain leads the pack. Photograph: Chris Graythen/Getty Images


There is hazy sunshine in São Paulo. A few clouds in the air, too, and thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow. But it looks likely to stay dry.

Here goes for the formation lap.

The grid:

1. George Russell

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Max Verstappen

4. Sergio Perez

5. Charles Leclerc

6. Lando Norris

7. Carlos Sainz*

8. Kevin Magnussen

9. Sebastian Vettel

10. Pierre Gasly

11. Daniel Ricciardo

12. Mick Schumacher

13. Zhou Guanyu

14. Valtteri Bottas

15. Yuki Tsunoda

16. Lance Stroll

17. Esteban Ocon

18. Fernando Alonso

19. Nicholas Latifi

20. Alex Albon

*grid penalty

There were 37 passes in the sprint race yesterday, so that bodes well for excitement here.


Pole-sitter George Russell speaks: “I’m feeling good. It’s very tricky to know what the right strategy is going to be …

“If we’ve got the pace we had yesterday we’ve got a chance to win the race. Let’s go as fast as possible.”

Can Max Verstappen win? “The opportunity is always there,” he says, speaking live to Sky Sports F1. “We can’t really change the car so it’s a bit hit and miss with the sprint weekend … probably we missed. We’ll see how competitive we are.”

I hope Lewis is going to bring it home, but I think maybe Perez or Verstappen could pull something out of the woodwork,” Tinie Tempah tells Sky Sports F1.

The pit lane is officially open! Cars now making their way to the grid...

K-Mag takes his reserved spot at the front of the queue 😉#BrazilGP #F1

— Formula 1 (@F1) November 13, 2022

Giles Richards’ report from yesterday’s sprint race is here:


The drivers’ title is long gone, snaffled by Max Verstappen over a month ago, but Mercedes have injected plenty of intrigue into today’s Brazilian grand prix by locking down the front row.

George Russell won Saturday’s sprint race, taking pole position, and a five-place grid penalty for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who was placed second, means Lewis Hamilton is second on the grid. The world champion, Verstappen of Red Bull, will be pushing his Mercedes rivals all the way as they aim for a first race win of the season.

Lights out: 6pm UK time.


Luke McLaughlin

The GuardianTramp

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