Mercedes' George Russell was in the groove all weekend. After winning Saturday's sprint race, Russell secured pole position for today's Brazilian grand prix. And after a hard-fought battle with his own teammate Lewis Hamilton, Russell found himself crossing the finish line of a Formula 1 grand prix in first place for the first time in his young career.
Hamilton, who finished second, was pushing hard, trying to get his first GP victory of the season. However, Russell was able to hold him off and Hamilton was hugely supportive of his teammate and his team overall. “Congratulations to George. This just goes back to everyone back at the factory," he said.
While Russell started in pole position, the question leading up to the race was whether he be able to hold off Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who's already secured the 2022 driver's championship. Verstappen has been nigh unstoppable this season and he started from third on the grid in Brazil. He's already won GPs this season from worse starting positions. However, Verstappen and Hamilton collided in lap 7, which forced Verstappen to pit to change his broken front wing. That dropped him back to 17th and he then suffered a five second penalty for colliding with Hamilton. There was some debate as to whose fault the collision was but the race stewards seem to have thought it was Verstappen's fault. He ended up finishing in fifth.
Verstappen wasn't as supportive of his own teammate as Hamilton was, though. In the final laps, Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez was behind him in sixth place. Team Red Bull instructed Verstappen to let Perez pass, so he could add more points to his season's total, helping him secure a second-place finish in the driver's championship. However, Verstappen wasn't having it.
After the race, when asked about why Verstappen wouldn't let him pass, Sergio Perez seemed frustrated with his teammate, especially after Perez had let Verstappen pass earlier in the race. "I was told to let him by, that I was going to get back the position," he said. "After all I've done for him, it's a bit disappointing, to be honest."
None of that should take away from Russell's victory, though. He raced his heart out and was able to hold off his teammate, the best driver of the modern era, to secure his first F1 grand prix victory ever. Next week's Abu Dhabi grand prix is the final race of the season.
Have a tip? Send it to [email protected]