Russell and Hamilton recorded a brilliant double win for Mercedes in Sao Paulo

George Russell, photo Mercedes

George Russell triumphed in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. The Mercedes pilot started from pole position and the record first victory in an F1 main event. His teammate Lewis Hamilton finished second. Thus, the two recorded the first double victory for Mercedes since the 2020 season. Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished third and fourth.

The weather before the start of the race in Brazil was dry and sunny. The air temperature was 23 degrees Celsius, and that of the asphalt – 50. The humidity was high – 72%. Unlike yesterday’s sprint race, the Interlagos track is now hotter. This should lead to more degradation of the Pirelli tires.

The initial tire selection was fairly balanced between soft and medium. In the top 10, only Leclerc, Sainz and Magnussen decided to bet on medium hard Pirelli compounds. Alex Albon bet hard, which is quite an interesting decision.

Russell made an excellent start, followed by Hamilton, Verstappen and Perez. They were followed by Norris, Leclerc, Sainz, Vettel, Gasly and Schumacher. Stroll also made a good start and gained several positions.

At the end of the first lap, Ricciardo had contact with Magnussen. The Haas driver spun and hit his McLaren rival, prompting a safety car. Fortunately, both riders were unharmed after this incident. The incident between them will be looked into by the stewards.

During the delay of the race in Sao Paulo, Leclerc explained that he experienced interference with his engine coming out of turn three. Albon unexpectedly entered the pits, where the mechanics fitted medium tires.

The safety car came out at the end of lap six. At the restart, Russell took the lead until Verstappen collided with Hamilton at the Senna S corner, both of whom suffered damage to their cars. Leclerc was hit by Norris and ended up in the safety zone. The Ferrari driver, as well as the Red Bull driver, pitted for new front wings. Hamilton moved on and ended up at the bottom of the top 10. The incident between the two world champions was also noticed by the stewards.

10 laps into the start of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Russell remained in the lead, followed by Perez, Sainz, Norris, Vettel, Hamilton, Gasly, Schumacher, Stroll and Bottas. Verstappen and Leclerc occupied the last two positions in the column. On lap 13, Verstappen and Norris received 5-second penalties for causing accidents. The Red Bull driver said on the radio that Hamilton did not leave him enough room.

Alonso pitted for Pirelli medium hard compounds and fell back to 17th. Behind him was Leclerc, who was losing speed because of the incident with Norris. In front, Russell led with an advance of 1.8 seconds. in front of Peres. Sainz was third, followed by Hamilton, Vettel, Norris, Gasly, Bottas, Schumacher and Ocon.

In the 18th out of 71 laps in Sao Paulo, Sainz went through the pits and lost precious seconds due to a piece of mica in one of the car’s rear brakes. The Spaniard returned to the track with softs and quickly dealt with Alex Albon.

Sainz passed Stroll and Schumacher while Leclerc pitted on lap #22. The Ferrari driver also recorded the fastest lap to date.

On lap 24, Perez also made a pit stop for medium tires. The Mexican came out just behind Bottas and ahead of Sainz. A lap later, Russell also pitted and managed to hold onto Perez. Hamilton took the lead. Verstappen and Norris served their penalties imposed by the stewards. The Dutchman was fitted with used soft tyres.

In the 30th of a total of 71 laps at the Interlagos circuit, Hamilton made a pit stop for soft tyres. The Briton came out behind Sainz in fourth place. At the same time, Russell regained the lead. The Mercedes driver has a lead of 4.5 seconds. in front of Peres, who in turn was about 3 seconds behind. in front of Sainz. The weather around the course was becoming increasingly dark and cloudy.

At 1/2 of the race distance, Russell held the first position with a difference of about 6 seconds. in front of Peres. Sainz pitted and conceded his position to Hamilton. Fifth was Bottas, followed by Vettel, Ocon, Norris, Leclerc and Joux. Verstappen worked his way forward and passed Stroll.

On lap 41, Russell extended his lead over Perez to 8.6 seconds. The Mexican was overtaken by Hamilton. Sainz was fourth, followed by Bottas, Vettel, Ocon, Leclerc, Norris and Verstappen.

A few laps later, Hamilton passed Perez on the start-finish straight with DRS. The Mercedes driver was wildly applauded by the Brazilian public. In the 46th round, Leclerc made a third pit stop and put on soft tires. Norris, Bottas and Vettel also pitted.

Perez made another pit stop on lap #48 and lost position to Sainz. A lap later, Hamilton was also called to the pits, although he said his tires were fine. Verstappen also pitted on soft tires, as did Russell.

53 laps into the start of the São Paulo Grand Prix, Norris complained of a loss of power and stopped his car in the safety zone between sectors two and three. This led to the emergence of a virtual safety car. Several riders took advantage of this, including Sainz.

Two laps later, the virtual safety car was turned into a real one. Russell asked over the radio if there would be team orders. He was told by the pits that he and Hamilton would be allowed to compete.

During the safety car period, Ocon received a message on the radio that Alonso was on newer tyres. The Frenchman was warned not to fight Alonso on the track.

At the restart, Russell maintained his position ahead of Hamilton and Sainz unsuccessfully attacked Perez. Leclerc passed Bottas while Alonso and Ocon passed Vettel. The two Alpin drivers then swapped positions. Alonso also handled Bottas. Russell set the fastest lap and pulled away from Hamilton.

On lap 63, Sainz overtook Perez while Leclerc was overtaken by Alonso. Verstappen passed Ocon and Bottas. Perez was getting slower and lost ground to the second Ferrari car as well as Alonso. At the front, Russell led by 4 tenths of a second over Hamilton.

By the end of the race in Sao Paulo, Russell had recorded his first victory in Formula 1. Hamilton finished right behind him. Sainz and Leclerc finished third and fourth. Alonso was fifth, followed by Verstappen and Perez. The top 10 was completed by Ocon, Bottas, and Stroll. The fastest lap of the race was also done by Russell.

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