The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team took its first win of the season with a stellar 1-2 finish in Interlagos, with George Russell taking his maiden Grand Prix victory.
George Russell took a commanding first win of his F1 career, leading away from the pole position and controlling the race from the front. It was the 125th F1 win for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton fought back from being pushed off track by Max Verstappen in the early laps, coming from P8 to finish P2, just over one second behind his team-mate.
George also took the 100th fastest lap in F1 for Mercedes, fractionally faster than Lewis. Today, the team closed the gap to P2 in the constructors’ championship to 19 points after Ferrari fought back to a strong P3/P4 finish. It’s all to play for in Abu Dhabi!
I have to say huge congratulations to George. What an amazing drive he did today. He did an amazing job yesterday in the Sprint, so he truly deserves it. To my Team, I’m so proud of everyone back at the factory and here. This is an incredible result – we’ve worked so hard through this year to get a 1-2 and to get a win. This is hugely deserved by everybody, so a big thank you to you all!
What an amazing feeling. A huge thank you to the whole team for making this possible. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster this season, this race. I felt in control, Lewis was super-fast, and then when I saw the safety car, I thought this would be a difficult end. He put me under so much pressure. But I’m so happy to come away with the victory. On the in-lap, all of these memories came flooding back, starting off with my Mum and Dad in go Karting, going through all the support I’ve had from the rest of my family, my girlfriend, my trainer, and my manager. The likes of Gwen, who first gave me the opportunity to get on the programme with Mercedes, and James Vowles and Toto. I can’t thank everyone enough.
One nice thing about having a year without wins is you remind yourself just how special they are and just how good they feel. What a result; huge congratulations to George, who drove a perfect race – he looked so comfortable at the front, and this will undoubtedly be the first of many. Also a fantastic recovery for Lewis, we thought he’d have been out of the picture after the collision with Max, but he put in a brilliant drive to get back to P2. The team back in Brackley and Brixworth have done an amazing job to make this possible, we had no idea we’d be able to achieve this given where we were at the start of the year, but today, we’re glad it’s just a long season as we’d not have wanted to miss this result. The engineers and drivers clearly did a good job getting the car in the right place with just a single session on Friday. We were using the tyres well, and great to see that the pace was strong. We’re looking forward to the last round in Abu Dhabi; it’s been a tough season for the entire team, but it’s given us even more motivation for 2023 to make sure we can hit the ground running.