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Sao Paulo (Brazil), Nov 14 (UiTV/IANS) – Mercedes Formula One driver George Russell took his maiden Grand Prix victory in style at Sao Paulo, with the British racer also helping his team take its first win and one-two of the season with Lewis Hamilton finishing second over Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Courtesy of their ‘Sprint’ result and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz’s five-place grid penalty, Russell led Hamilton away at the start, with the Safety Car quickly deployed for a collision between McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen that sent both cars out at Turn 8, bringing out the Safety Car.
The Lap 7 resumption saw Red Bull driver and 2022 world champion Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collide at Turn 2 before Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was sent into the Turn 7 barriers by McLaren’s Lando Norris. Neither of the four cars retired but Verstappen and Norris both took five-second penalties for their incidents.
Hamilton recovered soon after his scrap with Verstappen and the seven-time champion ran second behind Russell when a stoppage for Norris, on Lap 52, brought out a VSC-turned Safety Car, according to formula1.com.
Under immense pressure, Russell retained his lead over Hamilton on the Lap 60 restart and delivered his first win by a margin of 1.5 seconds over the seven-time champion.
Carlos Sainz was made to work for the final podium spot as, despite being on medium compounds, Perez defended his podium spot for a number of laps after the Safety Car restart. Charles Leclerc asked his team to swap positions with P2 in the championship at the fore of his thinking, but Leclerc was told to settle for fourth.
Perez’s final stint on medium tyres not only cost him a podium, but saw him drop to seventh as the team allowed Verstappen ahead in P6. Despite that, Verstappen could not catch P5 finisher Alpine’s Fernando Alonso — though he also declined to hand the place back to his team mate.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who was told not to fight team-mate Alonso at the final Safety Car restart, ended up eighth having passed Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas (P9) late on. Lance Stroll in his Aston Martin rounded out the top-10 ahead of his medium-shod team mate Sebastian Vettel by the chequered flag.