Brazil GP: Russell claims maiden F1 win as Hamilton & Verstappen collide

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George Russell claimed his maiden Grand Prix win with a faultless drive in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

The Briton was simply untouchable as he led away from pole and kept Lewis Hamilton at bay in the closing stages to take the chequered flag at Interlagos.

Hamilton was involved in an early collision with Max Verstappen at a Safety Car restart but recovered to take second with Carlos Sainz completing the podium for Ferrari.

Race Review

A perfect start at the front as Russell retained the lead ahead of Hamilton and the two Red Bulls, but a first-lap Safety Car would be called for Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen colliding exiting Turn 8.

Drama at the restart as Verstappen and Hamilton made contact at Turn 2, with the Dutchman forced to pit for a new front wing.

Lewis continued and quickly began making his way back up through the field to run third as Verstappen was given a five-second penalty.

Behind, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc also came together at Turn 7 with the Ferrari being spun into the barrier but resuming.

That left Russell leading ahead of Perez and Carlos Sainz in third as Sebastian Vettel gained places up to fifth for Aston Martin.

Earlier stops for the leading trio promoted Hamilton into P1 before he pitted and resumed in fourth.

Fernando Alonso was the first driver to make a scheduled tyre change and undercut the entire midfield to run fifth ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Vettel.

Norris was given a five-second penalty for the incident with Leclerc and dropped down to 10th in the McLaren.

At the front, Russell led comfortably as Perez didn't have the pace to challenge the Mercedes.

Instead, it was Hamilton on his fresher tyres who caught and passed the Mexican as Sainz also pitted much earlier to perform the undercut on the Red Bull.

Perez, Russell and Hamilton all stopped within a few laps for the second time, but a Safety Car changed everything as Norris pulled off with mechanical issues.

That allowed Sainz to pit for a third time and resume in fourth but on fresher tyres than those ahead.

When the race resumed, Perez's medium tyres quickly became a liability as he was overtaken by both Ferraris, Alonso and teammate Verstappen to slip down to P7.

Out front though, Russell had everything under control as he held off Hamilton to claim his first Grand Prix win and give Mercedes their first victory in 2022.

Leclerc begged Ferrari to be promoted up to third in his battle for second in the championship, instead, it was Sainz who crossed the line to claim the final podium place.

The Monegasque had to settle for fourth with Alonso fifth for Alpine. Verstappen claimed sixth, ignoring an order from Red Bull to allow Perez through on the final lap.

Esteban Ocon capped off a great Sunday for Alpine in eighth as Bottas and Lance Stroll completed the top 10.