A grandiose sprint show in Interlagos
Russell gives Mercedes first victory – Alfa-Sauber with luck
Three to one: Mercedes driver George Russell wins the final sprint of the year ahead of Carlos Sainz. The two Alfa-Saubers will start from the seventh row on Sunday.
Fists clenched: George Russell wins sprint race in Brazil.
Roger BenoitFormula 1 expert
Mercedes eventually won the race in 2022 thanks to George Russell (26). But the 100km sprint in São Paulo does not count towards Grand Prix statistics. Only the first eight drivers received championship points.
A deserved winner after a brilliant, breath-taking show in front of 80,000 fans, he is on pole on Sunday – along with team-mate Hamilton, as Sainz (2nd) collected five penalties for an engine change.
Russell, who pushed past leader Verstappen after several attacks on lap 15: “Why can’t we also win the penultimate race on Sunday? With Lewis, we are very well represented at the front.” Because in the 19th lap, the seven-time world champion also caught Verstappen and actually finished third.
Verstappen: contact with Sainz
The Dutchman avoided any risk here, even if he lost a piece of the end plate in a duel with Sainz. The Red Bull champion only caught poleman Magnussen in the Haas Ferrari on the third lap. The Dane then passed backwards. At the finish, he scored the final championship point in eighth place – 1.4 seconds ahead of Vettel in the Aston Martin-Mercedes.
The German was rightfully angry. In the tenth lap, he had a mad fight with teammate Stroll and had to swerve onto the grass – and for that the Canadian received a ten-second penalty.
A team fight in Alpine
Alfa-Sauber also benefited from this, which again got off to a bad start. They were way behind after the first round. Well, they started from the penultimate row. Tomorrow they will stand together in the seventh row. He owes it to the team’s renewed crash at Alpine: Alonso was the only one who had to pit, Ocon’s car no longer running.
The Marshalls come to the rescue: After the sprint race, Alpine burns in Parc Fermé(00:30)
And at the back, Latifi again had no chance and teammate Albon spun.
It was another happy day in the worst misery for Alfa-Sauber. Aston Martin-Mercedes (9th Vettel) missed a point and is still 49:53 behind in the fight for sixth place.
1st row: Russell–Hamilton
2nd row: Verstappen – Perez
3rd line: Leclerc-Norris
4th row: Sainz-Magnussen
5th row: Vettel – Gasly
6th line: Ricciardo – Schumacher
7th row: Zhou – Bottas
8th row: Alonso – Tsunoda
9th row: Walk – Ocon
10th line: Latifi-Albon
World Championship Stand
Nyck de Vries
Here’s how to proceed
The GP at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (71 laps of 4.309 km) starts on Sunday at 19:00.