Front row lock for Mercedes

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  • Mercedes’ George Russell won Saturday’s Sprint and will start the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix on Sunday first. Russell’s teammate Lewis Hamilton will start second.
  • Lewis Hamilton started eighth on Saturday, moved up to third in the Sprint and will line up alongside Russell on the front row of the grid as Carlos Sainz, who finished second in the Sprint, receives a five-place penalty for changing gear. engine. change.
  • Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who started the Sprint race after taking pole in Friday’s qualifying, slipped to eighth, and that’s where he will start on Sunday.

    In his eight-year reign in Formula 1, a front-row lockout for Mercedes has become something of a formality, but 2022 has been a different story.

    Mercedes handed over their crown to Red Bull Racing and have failed to claim a win in all 20 races so far, having also slipped behind Ferrari. But Mercedes have been gaining ground in recent Grands Prix and in Brazil on Saturday they won the F1 Sprint at Interlagos.

    Mercedes’ George Russell won Saturday’s Sprint and will start the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix on Sunday first. Russell’s teammate Lewis Hamilton will start second.

    Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who started after taking pole in Friday’s qualifying, slipped to eighth, and that’s where he will start on Sunday.

    From third on the grid, Russell found himself embroiled in a fierce tussle with world champion Max Verstappen and eventually prevailed to cross the line first after the 24-lap encounter. This secured Russell first place for Sunday’s 71-lap Grand Prix.

    Hamilton moved from eighth at the start to third and will line up alongside Russell on the front row of the grid as Carlos Sainz, who finished second in the Sprint, receives a five-place penalty for a change of engine.

    Verstappen, who suffered front wing damage battling Sainz, finished fourth and will start directly behind the Mercedes drivers on Sunday as he chases a record 15th win of the year.

    “It’s crazy to think we’re on the front row, it’s going to be exciting,” Russell said. “I’m sure Max will fly tomorrow, but we’re in a luxury position where maybe we can split the strategy and go for the win.”

    Hamilton described himself as “so, so happy” and described a top-tier start as “incredible” after a tough season for the outgoing champions.

    “Hopefully we can keep the guys behind. We will do our best. Hopefully we can have a good fight on our hands. A win here for Brazil would be amazing.

    It was a frenetic Sprint, the third of the 2022 season, on a circuit renowned for its wheel-to-wheel action.

    Haas and Magnussen enjoyed their pre-race moment in the sun, lining up from pole position, following Friday’s qualifying exploits. Magnussen led the first two laps from his and Haas’ first pole position before losing the standings.

    Magnussen nevertheless reclaimed eighth place, picking up a point, and he will start from that position on Sunday. However, he still gets pole position credit in the record books.

    It was a disastrous day for Alpine. Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso started sixth and seventh respectively but clashed twice on the opening lap, with the latter contact causing damage to the front wing of Alonso, who had to stop.

    Alonso was ranked 15th while Ocon only took 18th after slipping in the standings, his A522 spectacularly catching fire in parc fermé after the race.

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