Russell takes maiden F1 win at Sao Paulo GP

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George Russell won his first F1 race - and Mercedes' first of 2022 - in Sunday's Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Starting from pole position after having come home first in Saturday's Sprint race, Russell led the field away from the front and was never truly threatened as he saw out his maiden win in a race that featured two Safety Car periods.

"What an amazing feeling," Russell said. "It has been an emotional rollercoaster this season.

"This was a tough race, I felt in control.

"Lewis was super-fast and when I saw the Safety Car, I thought this is going to be a really difficult end, he put me under so much pressure. I am speechless."

Behind Russell, Lewis Hamilton made it a Mercedes 1-2 after coming through the field having dropped to ninth on Lap 1 after a collision with Max Verstappen, for which the Dutchman was slapped with a five-second time penalty.

Carlos Sainz rounded out the top three, with his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc recovering to finish fourth after having been tipped into a spin following an early tangle with Lando Norris.

Fernando Alonso had a strong run to fifth, with the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez sixth and seventh, though Perez was aggrieved that Verstappen did not let him past as he seeks to secure second place in the Drivers' Championship.

Speaking afterwards, Verstappen refused to elaborate on why he had ignored Red Bull's orders to let Perez past him.

"I understand from Checo's side he is disappointed. But I also gave my reasons why I didn't do it, about something that happened in the past," said Verstappen.

"That's why we all sat together and talked about it. As a team, we understand, and we have to move forwards. We go to Abu Dhabi and if he needs the help there to finish ahead of Charles, I will help him."

Alonso's teammate Esteban Ocon was eighth on a good day for Alpine, with Valtteri Bottas a strong ninth for Alfa Romeo, and Lance Stroll rounding out the top ten for Aston Martin.

Despite a poor afternoon, Verstappen moves onto 429 points at the top of the Drivers' Championship, with the Dutchman having secured the title three races ago in Japan.

In the battle for second place, Leclerc and Perez are deadlocked on 290 points, with Leclerc ahead by virtue of having won more races.

In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull have 719 points, ahead of Ferrari on 524, with Mercedes' 1-2 finish putting the Silver Arrows on 505 points.

The final round of the 2022 F1 season is next weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit. 

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