By Robert Haile
The Brazilian Grand Prix has provided one of the best race weekends of the season as George Russell claimed pole position for the Grand Prix.
Not only did the Mercedes driver claim pole but once the 5 place penalty is applied to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz teammate Lewis Hamilton will start in second place.
Mercedes’ pole sitter Russell said: “That result just goes to show all the hard work that everybody is putting in and the progress that we have made as a team.
“The car has been feeling great since we brought our last update to Austin, but I wasn’t expecting to have that much pace.
“Obviously, it’s difficult to know how Max would have got on had he been running the Soft tyres – but it’s still a great feeling to come out on top.
“It was a nice battle – in the Sprint, you’re always managing the balance of risk and reward, and I didn’t want to take too many risks and end up starting at the back – but I also wanted that victory.
“Lewis did a great job coming from P8 and it’s crazy to think we’re both starting at the front, it’s going to be exciting. I’m sure Max will be flying tomorrow, but we’re in the nice position where we can maybe split the strategies and go for the win.”
At the start of the sprint race Haas’ Kevin Magnussen led after a spectacular qualifying he would do so until lap 3 when Max Verstappen passed him.
Russell and Sainz passed a lap later as the Dane went backwards to eighth.
At the front Russell kept the pressure up on Verstappen as the medium vs soft tyre battle continued until the middle of the sprint.
On lap 15 the Brit passed the world champion and didn’t look back to take pole for the Grand Prix and eight points for the sprint win.
Verstappen was overtaken by Sainz and Lewis Hamilton to finish fourth with Sergio Perez fifth.
Charles Leclerc finished sixth as Lando Norris took seventh and Magnussen eighth in the final point scoring position.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel will start in ninth, Pierre Gasly tenth, Daniel Ricciardo eleventh and Mick Schumacher moved up eight places to twelfth.
Alfa Romeo came next with Zhou Guanyu beating Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda finished in sixteenth but will start in the pit lane after the car was modified during Parc ferme.
Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin came in seventeenth before the battling Alpine duo with Esteban Ocon in front of Fernando Alonso as Williams brought up the rear with Nicholas Latifi beating Alex Albon.
Sprint Race Result
- George Russell (Mercedes)
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)*
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
- Mick Schumacher (Haas)
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)*
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
- Alex Albon (Williams)
* Sainz has 5 place penalty for the Grand Prix while Tsunoda will start from the pit lane after the car was modified under Parc Ferme.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 421
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 284
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 278
- George Russell (Mercedes) – 239
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 222
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 219
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 112
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 82
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 71
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 47
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 36
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 35
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 25
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 23
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 13
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 12
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 12
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 6
- Alex Albon (Williams) – 4
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 2
- Nyck De Vries (Williams) – 2
- Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0
- Red Bull – 705
- Ferrari – 497
- Mercedes – 461
- Alpine – 153
- McLaren – 148
- Alfa Romeo – 53
- Aston Martin – 49
- Haas – 37
- AlphaTauri – 35
- Williams – 8