George Russell Wins Brazilian Grand Prix, Ends Team’s Winless Season

Mercedes has won a race in every Formula 1 season since 2012, and thanks to George Russell, that streak continues.

Mercedes, the most dominant team of Formula 1’s turbo-hybrid era came into Brazil winless with just two races left on the 2022 calendar, and, boy, did they deliver.

They seem to have gotten the handle on the once difficult W13. For most of the weekend, the team looked to have the best car on track. The Mercs came up short during qualifying (which to a shock pole position for Haas’ Kevin Magnussen), but once the lights went out for Saturday’s spring, it was all them.

Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton finished P1 and P2 respectively, locking out the front row of the grid for the Grand Prix. They maintained those positions to secure a nice points haul for Mercedes.

George Russell Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
George Russell celebrates his first Grand Prix win by shaking hands with a guy who has won a few of them himself. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images )

The George Russell Show

From lights out, George Russell was in control of the race, with his closest competition coming from Hamilton, showing once again what a rocket ship Mercedes had in SΓ£o Paulo.

Russell didn’t put a step wrong during the race, and it could be argued he didn’t all weekend.

Well, there was one. He beached his W13 in a gravel trap during Q3. However, the ensuing red flag coupled with rain wound up locking up P3 for the sprint race.

It was great to see Russell get a much-deserved Maiden victory. It was also great to see Mercedes pull it together after a pretty strong run that started just before the summer break.

Russell’s win and Hamilton’s P2 pulled Mercedes to within 19 points of Ferrari for P2 in the constructors’ championship.

Miserable Race For McLaren, Heated Weekend For Alpine

With both championships locked up, it seemed like the best battle going into the season finale in Aby Dhabi would be the battle for P4 in the constructors’ standings between McLaren and Alpine.

However, after the race at Interlagos, it’s Alpines’ to lose. But they didn’t leave Brazil on the best note either.

Let’s start with McLaren though, because their race was shorter. Daniel Ricciardo retired early after making an ill-advised move on Kevin Magnussen. On the ensuing restart, Lando Norris understeered into Charles Leclerc, sending the Monegasque into the wall.

While Norris soldiered on after that incident, he retired with electrical issues.

Now, Alpine had an interesting weekend too. It started with a collision between teammates Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso during the sprint race. Alonso, who is headed to Aston martin next season, was given a 5-second penalty.

Yeah, things aren’t going great between the two.

On Sunday, there was friction once again. This time, Ocon’s temper flared when he was told not to race Alonso. he was given a stern talking to the courtesy of his race engineer.

As I said, P4 is Alpine’s to lose, but teammates coming to blows is certainly one way to lose it.

Teammates weren’t getting along in SΓ£o Paulo. Maybe it was the heat. (Getty Images)

No Team Players At Interlagos

Alpine wasn’t the only team that had some drama between their drivers; Ferrari and Red Bull did too.

Toward the end of the race, Charles Leclerc was sitting in P4, just behind his teammate Carlos Sainz. Leclerc started pleading his case for the Scuderia to issue team orders to let him through citing his drivers’ standings battle with Sergio Perez (more on him in a second).

Ferrari decided not to take Leclerc’s advice and let them race to the finish with Sainz taking the final step on the podium.

Meanwhile, Red Bull had their own driver drama. On the final lap, Max Verstappen was asked to move aside for Perez, but he, uh… he didn’t want to do that.

So as you can probably tell, there will be a few, very tense debriefs.

The 2022 F1 season wraps up next weekend in Abu Dhabi. Hopefully, it goes a bit more smoothly without a championship on the line like there was last year, but we shall see.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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