Russell wins F1 race opener as Mercedes finish 1-2 at Brazilian GP

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SAO PAULO — Pursued to the end by his teammate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes driver George Russell won his first race in Formula 1 on Sunday at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

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It was also Mercedes’ first GP win of an otherwise disappointing season with Hamilton, making it an impressive 1-2 for the team in a statement of intent for next season.

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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. completed the podium at Interlagos.

Russell, 24, dominated the race in Sao Paulo from the start, which put him in pole position on the grid. He had seven podiums before Sunday’s victory.

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Hamilton, who started second, fell to eighth after his car collided with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull on lap seven. The Dutchman receives a five-second penalty and finishes in sixth place.

Verstappen and his Red Bull team have already been crowned F1 champions.

The Brazilian GP was the penultimate race of the season ahead of Abu Dhabi on November 20.

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