George Russell wins sprint ahead of Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton

George Russell wins sprint ahead of Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes pilot George Russell won the Formula 1 sprint race in São Paulo. The Briton finished first after 24 laps in the Autodrom José Carlos Pace on Saturday and will be rewarded with eight world championship points and first place on the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday (7:00 p.m. CET, in FAZ live ticker for Formula 1on RTL and Sky).

Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) was second, record world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) third. However, Spaniard Sainz will be dropped five places for Sunday’s starting grid due to an illegal engine change. Sebastian Vettel finished ninth in the Aston Martin and went away empty-handed, Mick Schumacher in the Haas-Ferrari was twelfth after starting from last place. Schumacher’s stable mate Kevin Magnussen from Denmark, who the day before with a hussar ride in the rain sensationally conquered the pole positioncouldn’t keep up on a dry track, finished eighth and thus secured a championship point.

There could hardly have been a better present for Gene Haas: On his 70th birthday, the American team owner was able to watch his driver Kevin Magnussen in the Haas VF-22 in front of the world champion Max Verstappen started the short race from pole position and led the field for two laps before he was passed from first place to fourth at the beginning of the third lap. First Verstappen overtook him at the end of the start-finish straight, shortly afterwards he also had to let Russell and Sainz go.

In the team’s six-year Formula 1 history, a Haas car had never been at the start at the front, a fifth place from magnussen in Canada had hitherto been the highest of feelings.

While Magnussen went backwards, Mick Schumacher got off to a brilliant start and quickly made up positions. It got tricky in the tenth round when Sebastian Vettel was pushed off the track at high speed by his team-mate Lance Stroll and only thanks to some effort and skill did he not shoot uncontrolled into the barrier but kept the upper hand over his Aston Martin. “Ok,” Vettel commented laconic on the hair-raising incident over the radio. The Canadian Stroll was given a ten-second time penalty by the race control for this dangerous manoeuvre.

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