(Motorsport-Total.com) – George Russell has won a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time. But according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, victory in the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo was hanging by a thread.
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George Russell in the Mercedes W13 during the Brazil 2022 Formula 1 race
Because during the race a water leak occurred on Russell’s Mercedes W13, which caused the engineers in the pits to frown. Wolff: “It was not clear whether George would make it to the end.”
Mercedes spokesman Bradley Lord went on to say his team became aware of the problem in the Russell car “about half way through the race”. Russell was not told about it. He had “no idea” that his car was no longer fully functional.
And the situation was serious, says Lord. “Four, five laps to go,” his team had a specific concern that Russell would not make it to the finish. All in all it was just enough.
Russell has lost a potential win before
Russell has already lost a possible victory at Mercedes due to external circumstances: in 2020 as a substitute for the coronavirus-positive Lewis Hamilton at the Sachir Grand Prix in Bahrain.
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Russell was leading the race at the time, but Mercedes fitted teammate Valtteri Bottas’ tires during the pit stop, resulting in another stop. A puncture later threw Russell back, so that he “only” scored his first Formula 1 points in ninth place, but not victory.
Wolff: The victory in Brazil is deserved for Russell
“I don’t know if it’s a reparation payment,” says Mercedes team boss Wolff. “I think he deserved to win in Bahrain.”
“That’s why the win makes us happy now, because he could have won two years ago, but he didn’t get it then. Now he has that first win in his pocket.”
How Russell Celebrated Success
And how did Russell celebrate the success of the premiere? On the podium, of course, and later with the Mercedes crew in the pit lane. After that, however, it was on to the next Formula 1 race.
Photo Gallery: Sao Paulo: The Editors Driving Figures
Daniel Ricciardo (5): For the editors the worst driver of this weekend. Initially left behind in qualifying and sprint by an unfit teammate. In the race then responsible for the crash with Magnussen and also received a penalty for Abu Dhabi. That was definitely not “enough” anymore.
In the press conference after the Grand Prix, Russell said: “I’ve just been with Carlos [Sainz] talked about. We have the same flight direct to Abu Dhabi. before 3 p.m.”
Sainz: “I told him the drinks are on me.”
Russell: “I think they’re free on the plane after all, right?”
Sainz: “That’s why I said yes, they’re after me!”