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Russell won his first F1 race for Mercedes with a 1-2 at the Brazilian Grand Prix

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SAO PAULO (AP) — Pursued to the finish by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, a tearful George Russell won his first…

SAO PAULO (AP) — Chased all the way by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, George Russell won his first Formula One race Sunday by 1 1/2 seconds at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

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

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. took the podium at Interlag.

Russell, 24, dominated the race in Sao Paulo from the start, taking pole position on the grid. Before Sunday’s victory, he had reached the podium seven times.

Russell became the first British driver to hear “God Save the King” for a race winner since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 and the accession of King Charles III.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster… Lewis put so much pressure on me,” said a still-emotional Russell after a race that featured frequent safety cars. “This is just the beginning.”

Hamilton, who started second, dropped to eighth after his car collided with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull on the seventh lap. The Dutchman received a five-second penalty and finished sixth.

Hamilton did not want to clarify the incident with Verstappen.

“What can I say? You know how it is with Max,” Hamilton said after the race.

Verstappen and his Red Bull team have already become Formula 1 champions.

Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez appeared to be at odds late in the race. Perez, who is still fighting for second place in the Drivers’ Championship, was sixth when he was overtaken by Verstappen towards the end of the race to finish behind him. The radio team reveals that Verstappen was told to let Perez finish ahead of him in order to gain more points, but the champion refused.

“I already told you. You guys don’t ask me about it again. Is that clear to you? I gave you my reasons and I stand by them,” said Verstappen.

Perez sounded upset over the team radio. “It shows who he really is,” he said.

The Brazilian Grand Prix was the penultimate race of the season before Abu Dhabi on November 20.

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