Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race: George Russell takes thrilling win after Max Verstappen tussle

Sprint winner George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes and Third placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes celebrate in parc ferme during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
Sprint winner George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes and Third placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes celebrate in parc ferme during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

09:06 PM

Report

Russell insists no team orders as Mercedes line up 1-2

Brazilian Grand Prix - Jose Carlos Pace Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil - November 12, 2022 Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' George Russell in action during sprint qualifying - Reuters/Nelson Almeida
Brazilian Grand Prix - Jose Carlos Pace Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil - November 12, 2022 Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' George Russell in action during sprint qualifying - Reuters/Nelson Almeida

George Russell insists there will be “no team orders” from Mercedes as he attempts to win the first grand prix of his career in Brazil.

The 24 year-old, who won Saturday's sprint race at Interlagos and will begin Sunday's race from pole, will be joined on the front row by his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who is looking to extend his extraordinary run of winning at least one grand prix in every season of his career.

Russell insisted there was no chance he would be ordered aside for the seven-time world champion. But he conceded Mercedes’ best hope of keeping the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, starting third and fourth respectively, behind them, was perhaps to split their strategies. “There definitely won’t be any team orders,” Russell said when asked whether the team might favour one of them. “But I think between the two of us we hopefully can get it right.

“In Mexico we both did the same strategy and it maybe cost us. I’m sure we will be splitting the strategies tomorrow to cover all options. Hopefully one of us comes away happy.”

Hamilton, for his part, said he would be delighted with a one-two, whichever of them finished first.

“This is an amazing result,” said the 37-year-old, who began the sprint race in eighth place and finished third, rising one place on Sunday's grid thanks to the five-place grid penalty handed out to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for an engine change.

“For us to be on the front row tomorrow is incredible so from there we should be able to work as a team and hold off the guys behind.”

Russell's win, his first of any description in Formula One, owed much to a strategic error by Red Bull, who elected to put double world champion Verstappen on medium tyres for the 24-lap race, when everyone else in the top 10 was on softs.

It rapidly became clear they had erred as Russell swarmed all over the back of the Dutchman’s gearbox even before he passed Haas’s surprise pole-sitter Kevin Magnussen at the start of the third lap.

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. - Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. - Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Russell eventually managed to pass Verstappen on lap 15 after multiple attempts, with Sainz and Hamilton also making it past the Dutchman before the finish.

Behind them, there were some interesting battles - notably between Alpine team-mates Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, and Aston Martin team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll.

But the big winners were Mercedes. After all their porpoising issues at the start of the year, their struggles with their ‘zero-pod’ concept, the wind is finally in the Brackley team’s sails just as the season is about to finish.

Mercedes cut their deficit to second-placed Ferrari to just 36 points after this sprint race.

A similar result in the full grand prix would make things very interesting out in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

Russell said he was hopeful of landing his first win in Formula One. “I mean it’s crazy to think we are both starting on the front row,” he concluded. “I’m sure Max is going to be flying tomorrow, coming through the pack, but we are in a luxury position and we can maybe split the strategy and go for the win.”

Once the lights went out all eyes were on Haas’ Kevin Magnussen to see how long he might be able to stay out in front following his extraordinary pole-winning performance in qualifying on Friday. The answer was two laps. The Dane ended up eighth despite an excellent start.

Haas F1 Team's Danish driver Kevin Magnussen leads the pack after the start of the sprint qualifying at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace racetrack, also known as Interlagos, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 12, 2022, ahead of the Formula One Brazil Grand Prix - EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images
Haas F1 Team's Danish driver Kevin Magnussen leads the pack after the start of the sprint qualifying at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace racetrack, also known as Interlagos, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 12, 2022, ahead of the Formula One Brazil Grand Prix - EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images

But the big talking point turned out to be Red Bull’s decision to run Verstappen on medium tyres. It rapidly became clear they had erred as Russell swarmed all over the back of the Dutchman’s gearbox even before he passed Magnussen at the start of the third lap. Russell finally managed to pass Verstappen on lap 15 after multiple attempts, with Sainz and Hamilton also making it past the Dutchman before the finish.

There is only one week and two races left of this season but after all their porpoising issues, their struggles with their ‘zero-pod’ concept, the wind is finally in Mercedes’ sails. They cut their deficit to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship to just 36 points as a result of this sprint race, with Russell taking eight points and Hamilton six.

A similar result in Sunday’s grand prix would make things very interesting out in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

08:48 PM

What does that do to the constructors' standings?

Well, it is useful for Mercedes, who are now within 36 points of Ferrari. Two rounds left to go, and that is not impossible to overturn but it would probably take some Ferrari bad luck or retirements.

Handy for Haas, too, who now go two points ahead of AlphaTauri.

08:43 PM

Updated driver standings - Top 10

Makes Perez's attempt to get second in the standings a bit more likely and gives Russell a hefty 17-point advantage over Hamilton.

08:40 PM

This was the incident that got Lance Stroll a 10-second penalty

Absolutely fair. You cannot do that. Not the first time Stroll has done similar this season.

08:39 PM

Fair to say that Alonso was not happy with team-mate Ocon

He had two comings-together. He is off to Aston Martin next year.

08:37 PM

Verstappen a bit dejected

But it sounds like he had fun.

The battles were quite good, just that I was on the wrong end of it. They were quite cool.

08:35 PM

Christian Horner speaks to Sky Sports F1

We took the decision to start on the medium, if we could survive the first 12 laps the second half would become more comfortable. Mercedes had a very quick car today and we couldn't hold them off. I think it's a combination of both [tyre difference and race pace] we seen they have been heavily developing this car this season... they have been getting close and closer. It's no real surprise that they have had this performance with the parts they have been developing.

The soft tyre would have been better for us tomorrow but the advantage is that we take that extra set tomorrow. The advantage we gave up today [get back] tomorrow. I think it sets up a really fascinating grand prix for tomorrow. Mercedes are going to be quick.

08:32 PM

Progress has been pretty slow and steady for Mercedes all season

Only two races left to go, but this will provide some cheer. And it might give them their best chance of a race win tomorrow. I think Verstappen's true pace was masked quite significantly with the strategy they chose today, as well as some damage, but the Mercedes definitely looked as competitive as it has all season.

08:29 PM

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin speaks to Sky Sports

It was nice today to give him a car to show what he could do at the front. Really impressive drive by him. I think we look like we had a bit of an edge on Ferrari today, it is going to be a bit warmer tomorrow which might change the picture a bit. It's been a lot of hard work to get here but certainly the update we brought a couple of races ago has brought us into contention.

Mercedes engineer Andrew Shovlin is seen in the paddock before the qualifying session for the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City on October 29, 2022 - CARLOS PEREZ GALLARDO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Mercedes engineer Andrew Shovlin is seen in the paddock before the qualifying session for the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City on October 29, 2022 - CARLOS PEREZ GALLARDO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

He also says that, when it comes to positioning on the grid - which Hamilton is being investigated for - it looks like, from their cameras, that Hamilton looked fine. He posits that it might be a sensor issue.

08:23 PM

Hamilton speaks after his third place

I am so so happy to be here. It's been an incredible week. Difficult day yesterday. This is an amazing result, for us to be on the front row is incredible. Hopefully we can hold off the guys behind.

We are going to try as hard as we can, if we can have some good degradation tomorrow, hopefully some good weather, we can have a fight on our hands. A win here for Brazil would be incredible.

08:22 PM

Carlos Sainz on a decent second

He will take a penalty and start from seventh tomorrow.

We normally have a bit more deg than the Mercs and I could see then pushing quite hard. I had to be aggressive because obviously tomorrow I am taking the penalty. I think P2 is the maximum. The Mercs look like that have picked up the pace recently.

[On the Verstappen contact]

It was on the limit for sure, they are so difficult to pass and I had to go really tight in turn one to pass him. I'm sorry if I had a bit of contact but that's racing and sometimes you need to go for it if you want to make it stick.

[On chances of a a good race]

We have decent pace this weekend but it's just maybe that the Mercs have maybe a little bit more pace. Obviously we would need to pass them on track tomorrow because I am starting P7. We are going to need a good race if we are going to beat them.

08:18 PM

George Russell reacts to his sprint win

It was incredible, I wasn't expecting to have that much pace but it goes to show how much hard work the team have been putting in. It's difficult to know how Max would have got on had he been on the soft tyres... but standing here it's a good feeling.

I think it's a little bit difficult because this is a sprint race and you've got to manage that risk and reward... I didn't want to risk it too much and end up starting from the back. It's crazy to think we're starting on the front row, Lewis did a great job coming from P8. I'm sure Max is going to be flying coming throughthe pack. We are in a luxury position that we can split the strategy and maybe go for the win.

08:12 PM

Magnussen finishes eighth in the end

So that's a point and means he will start seventh, at least, tomorrow. A job well done. Probably too much to keep anyone else behind him and a chance to score points tomorrow.

08:08 PM

Brazil GP sprint - Provisional classification

  1. RUS

  2. SAI

  3. HAM

  4. VER

  5. PER

  6. LEC

  7. NOR

  8. MAG

  9. VET

  10. GAS

  11. RIC

  12. MSC

  13. ZHO

  14. BOT

  15. ALO

  16. TSU

  17. STR

  18. OCO

  19. LAT

OUT: ALB

08:08 PM

Hamilton pretty happy

Mega job guys. Mega. Congrats to George. Awesome.

He is then told that Sainz will take a penalty for tomorrow's race so it could be a Mercedes starting 1-2. That said, Hamilton does face an investigation for perhaps not quite being in the right place in his grid box.

08:05 PM

GEORGE RUSSELL WINS THE BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX SPRINT!

An excellent drive. A bit messy for Verstappen, really. Went onto the medium tyres and didn't really have the pace. Hit some debris early on which may have cost him some lap time, had a great battle with Russell and then had contact with Sainz which caused him further damage...

Mercedes' British driver George Russell races during the sprint qualifying at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace racetrack, also known as Interlagos, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 12, 2022, ahead of the Formula One Brazil Grand Prix - NELSON ALMEIDA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Mercedes' British driver George Russell races during the sprint qualifying at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace racetrack, also known as Interlagos, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 12, 2022, ahead of the Formula One Brazil Grand Prix - NELSON ALMEIDA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

"That's how we roll baby, that's how we roll. Very nicely done. Very nicely done. Big points for tomorrow," says Russell on the radio after he takes the chequered flag.

08:04 PM

FINAL LAP

Russell leads Sainz by four seconds, with Hamilton within DRS range of Sainz but running out of corners. Sainz will need a mistake here, most likely if he is to surrender second place.

08:03 PM

Lap 23 of 24 - Perez asks his team if Verstappen will move over, in effect

He needs the points he says. That would be for second in the standings. Reminder that Hamilton, Ricciardo and Zhou are being investigated for a start procedure infringement, but not a jump start. That will be looked at after the race. So these positions could well change.

08:02 PM

Lap 22 of 24 - This would not count as a grand prix win for Russell

But it would be a significant moment, of course. A great tussle with Verstappen earlier on.

Sainz posts a lap a little faster than Hamilton. He does not yet have DRS. Sainz should be okay for second here.

08:01 PM

Lap 21 of 24 - Russell leads Sainz and Hamilton

Hamilton closing in a bit but not massively. Verstappen has to worry about his team-mate behind...

07:59 PM

Lap 20 of 24 - Norris gets Magnussen for seventh

This would still be a point for Magnussen and Gasly is four seconds further back, so he should be okay. Should be.

Russell leads Sainz by four seconds with Hamilton 1.5s behind the Spaniard. Sainz says he is running out of tyres. Verstappen is 1.8s behind Hamilton.

07:58 PM

Lap 19 of 24 - Sainz and Verstappen touch!

Sainz goes down the inside at turn one and takes second place... but they touch ever so slightly!

Verstappen's left-front endplate comes away on the second straight after that and he now has Hamilton to worry about...

Hamilton bides his time in the first two sectors but then gets the spot with DRS on the pit straight. Verstappen dropping back here, down to fourth.

07:56 PM

Lap 18 of 24 - Russell leads Verstappen by 2.6s

He's pulling away. Think Verstappen is just happy to take second here. Sainz is still being harried by Hamilton for third. Sainz is within DRS range of Verstappen.

So, yes, Verstappen would be delighted to take second. Wonder if his car was damaged after hitting that debris...

07:55 PM

Lap 17 of 24 - 10sec penalty for Lance Stroll

That seems proportionate for that move on Vettel. His team-mate.

07:54 PM

Lap 16 of 24 - Top 10 and gaps

  1. RUS

  2. VER +1.5

  3. SAI +2.9

  4. HAM +3.5

  5. PER +8.1

  6. LEC +12.8

  7. MAG +14.7

  8. NOR +16.2

  9. GAS +20.4

  10. VET +22.2

07:53 PM

Lap 15 of 24 - Russell takes the lead!

Can Russell make it stick this time?! Yes, he does... the same move... bides his time in turn one and then gets DRS, goes to the outside at turn four.

The previous two times it wasn't enough but this time he is a bit later on the brakes and gets to the corner first and takes the lead! Lovely driving.

Hamilton is harrying Sainz for third here. Mercedes have decent pace in these conditions, no doubt.

07:51 PM

Lap 14 of 24 - Verstappen leads Russell by 0.5s

Verstappen says he hit some debris but it's okay. Russell is closer than ever at the end of the second. Magnussen, the polesitter, is holding his own in sixth as it stands with Leclerc in hot pursuit.

07:51 PM

Lap 13 of 24 - Russell and Verstappen at it again

Ah this is brilliant! Russell gets DRS on the second straight, tries to go around the outside at turn four side by side with Verstappen, then into five he has the inside line and looks to be ahead... but Verstappen does not yield! He keeps the lead.

Yellow flags on track as Albon pulls to the side of the circuit and retires. 

07:49 PM

Lap 12 of 24 - Russell and Verstappen go wheel-to-wheel

Ooof, that was close! Russell looks up the inside at turn one... and then jinks to the outside at turn one! Verstappen keeps the spot.

They are close again down the second straight and into turn four... he tries to go around the outside and then the inside but Verstappen is equal to it! Good driving from both men there. There was a chance there for Russell. Sainz isn't too far away...

Russell goes again...

07:48 PM

Lap 11 of 24 - Russell now closing in

He moves to within half a second of Verstappen which means he will get DRS on the first two straights.

07:46 PM

Lap 10 of 24 - Russell dropping back a bit

Here's the top 10:

  1. VER

  2. RUS +0.8

  3. SAI +2.6

  4. HAM +4.9

  5. PER +8.6

  6. MAG +10.6

  7. NOR +11.9

  8. LEC +12.9

  9. GAS +17.4

  10. OCO +20.1

07:45 PM

Lap 9 of 24 - And now Perez takes fifth from Magnussen

The two Aston Martins do battle, side by side on the second straight after getting close in the first few corners... then Stroll looks to run Vettel of the track as he dips wheels onto the grass. Hmmm. That was a dodgy move. Should be a penalty. Stroll ahead of Vettel and in 11th.

But not for long... Vettel gets DRS and moves up into 11th.

07:44 PM

Lap 8 of 24 - Perez gets Norris for sixth

Magnussen the next man up the road...

07:43 PM

Lap 7 of 24 - Verstappen leads Russell by 0.8s

Verstappen on the more durable medium tyres, remember.

07:41 PM

Lap 6 of 24 - Hamilton gets Magnussen for fourth

Easy as you like. This is the real battle for Magnussen today... Norris, Perez, Leclerc and Ocon behind.

07:41 PM

Lap 5 of 24 - Verstappen leads Russell and Sainz

Magnussen has dropped back to fourth. Alonso not happy with Ocon. He lost a big chunk of his front wing on the pit straight. Pretty good sprint so far.

Hamilton, Ricciardo and Zhou noted for a start procedure infringement...

07:40 PM

Lap 4 of 24 - Top 10 and gaps

  1. VER

  2. RUS +0.725

  3. SAI +1.855

  4. MAG +3.429

  5. NOR +4.085

  6. HAM +4.556

  7. PER +6.733

  8. OCO +8.512

  9. LEC +8.844

  10. GAS +9.212

07:38 PM

Lap 3 of 24 - Verstappen takes the lead!

Up the inside of turn one and the Red Bull on medium tyres takes the lead from the Haas! It was nice whilst it lasted...

More bad news for Magnussen as Russell takes the Dane for second now... he now needs to set off to chase down Max Verstappen.

Alonso has come into the pits to change a broken front wing. He is now last.

07:37 PM

Lap 2 of 24 - Russell really fighting Verstappen here

Throughout the first sector he is barely 10ft away from the rear of the Red Bull! But no way through just yet. Alonso slips back to 10th... has he picked up damage in that incident with his team-mate Ocon?

Verstappen closing up on leader Magnussen, just a few tenths between them...

Hamilton gets Ocon for sixth!

07:35 PM

The Brazilian GP sprint is go!

It takes a while for the other Haas of Mick Schumacher to take his spot in 20th and last on the grid. But he does get there eventually...

The lights go out and it's an excellent start by Magnussen who leads by a few car lengths going into the braking zone. A few locked brakes at the first corner and plenty of cars side-by-side there too...

Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 VF-22 Ferrari leads the field at the start during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 VF-22 Ferrari leads the field at the start during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

At turn four and the Alpines get very close together and possibly touch! Alonso gets a tankslapper on but carries on going... he nearly lost it there, running off the track.

Magnussen leads Verstappen, Russell, Norris, Sainz, Ocon and Alonso. As you were.

07:32 PM

The formation lap is go

Everyone gets away cleanly with Magnussen leading the field through a sunny Interlagos. A few clouds in the sky.

"Good luck Kev, have fun," is the message on the radio from his race engineer.

07:27 PM

Starting tyre types

Well, everyone is on the softs apart from Max Verstappen in second and Nicholas Latifi in 16th... interesting.

07:24 PM

STARTING GRID

1. MAG 2. VER
3. RUS 4. NOR
5. SAI 6. OCO
7. ALO 8. HAM
9. PER 10. LEC
11. ALB 12. GAS
13. VET 14. RIC
15. STR 16. LAT
17. ZHO 18. BOT
19. TSU 20. MSC

A Haas in first and one in last, then.

07:23 PM

Under 10 minutes to go until lights out

A reminder that it's a 24-lap race, which should last around 35 minutes or so, barring any stoppages.

07:16 PM

Pole man Magnussen speaks to Sky Sports F1

I'm feeling good. I'm on pole position, who would have thought? I am going to enjoy this. I managed to get a good sleep. We are on pole. This looks great. We've got to get loads of pictures of this, get some good points and enjoy it. It's been 10 or 11 years since I was on pole last. I am focused on trying to get points. We know we're not the fastest car so we've got to try and get something out of this.

07:13 PM

Raw pace ranking after 21 rounds

This is, on average, how fast a team has been in qualifying over the course of the season. Not much in it between Red Bull and Ferrari as has been the case all season.

07:11 PM

Guenther Steiner of Haas speaks to Sky Sports F1

It's looking good. It's a nice place to be for a change. We just try to do a good job. I think everybody slept pretty well. This is very good. I think it depends all on the start. He knows what to do, he knows in FP2 this morning he tested the tyres and how to push them. It's for him to manage. I didn't tell him anything. Racers don't listen to me anyway - he knows what to do.

07:08 PM

Driver qualifying head-to-head so far this season

Hamilton now getting the better of Russell, although interestingly, their average qualifying position over the season is exactly the same: 6.57.

Doesn't look like there is any rain in the air, sadly...

07:06 PM

A pretty big day for this chap

He returned to F1 this year in unlikely circumstances, back at his former team Haas after Nikita Mazepin was dropped.

06:56 PM

Hill tells Leclerc to step up as Mercedes hunt Ferrari

By Tom Cary, Senior Sports Correspondent, in Sao Paulo

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, of Monaco, arrives to Interlagos racetrack for a second practice session in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. The Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday - AP Photo/Marcelo Chello
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, of Monaco, arrives to Interlagos racetrack for a second practice session in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. The Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday - AP Photo/Marcelo Chello

Damon Hill has questioned Charles Leclerc’s leadership as Mercedes continue to hunt down Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. The 1996 world champion said the Monegasque driver needed to “assume some responsibility” for mistakes made during the season.

It was difficult to imagine, six months ago, when Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was talking about “strangling” himself due to Mercedes’ lack of pace, and the W13 was porpoising all over the place, that the Brackley team would be fighting Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ championship.

Leclerc had a healthy lead in the drivers’ standings at one point and has enjoyed good one-lap pace almost all season, taking nine pole positions. Yet, heading into yesterday’s sprint race at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes found themselves just 40 points behind Ferrari.

Mercedes’ improved pace and understanding of their car has been partly responsible for that turnaround, but it is also true Ferrari – whose team principal, Mattia Binotto, is not in Brazil – have thrown away a huge number of points. Hill questioned whether they needed “someone from outside” to sort things out, remembering the days of Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher at the wheel. “They just have to do the fundamental things right,” Hill told Sky Sports F1. “I mean, what is going on at Ferrari? Who will take charge of this situation? Because it’s been going on all year.”

Hill said Leclerc had to hold his hand up, too, after he was the only driver sent out on intermediate tyres at the start of Q3 on Friday, and unable to set a competitive lap.

“I think you can see Charles is sort of criticising the team on the radio effectively by saying ‘nice one guys, thanks very much’. But he has to assume some responsibility as well,” Hill said. “Maybe they are not letting him do that, or he hasn’t got the courage to assume it.

His personality is such that he commands attention and I think that’s part and parcel of being a leading driver in a team.”

06:51 PM

This driver's eye view camera is growing on me

I still think it could be better, but it's not bad. Go onboard with Carlos Sainz for a lap around Interlagos.

06:48 PM

Current constructor standings

06:37 PM

Current championship standings - Top 10

06:33 PM

A quick reminder about the format

It's a traditional standing race start that will last 24 laps (roughly one-third of a race distance of 100km) or 60 minutes, whichever comes sooner. Championship points are awarded to the top eight finishers (eight for first, down to one for eighth) and the finishing order sets the grid for tomorrow's race, before any grid penalties are applied. Drivers, of course, can pick up penalties in the sprint which apply to the grand prix, too.

06:26 PM

Difficult to really read anything meaningful into those FP2 times, of course

It's all (well, mostly) about preparation for the 24-lap sprint, which takes place at 7.30pm GMT. Still, strong from Alpine, who are fighting closely with McLaren for fourth in the standings. Will they be able to fight with the faster cars? Ocon starts sixth and Fernando Alonso seventh.

Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A522 Renault leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A522 Renault leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A reminder that any grid penalties (Carlos Sainz will take at least five for an unscheduled ICE change) are applied for the grand prix tomorrow, rather than the race today.

06:20 PM

FP2 times – Ocon fastest

  1. Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1min 14.604secs

  2. Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:14.788

  3. George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:14.916

  4. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:15.049

  5. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:15.098

  6. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:15.137

  7. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:15.636

  8. Mick Schumacher (Ger) Haas F1 1:15.684

  9. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:15.815

  10. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:15.851

  11. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spa) Ferrari 1:15.856

  12. Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:15.865

  13. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:15.868

  14. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:15.994

  15. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:16.047,

  16. Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:16.181

  17. Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:16.263

  18. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin 1:16.400

  19. Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:16.468

  20. Logan Sargeant (USA) Williams 1:16.480

04:53 PM

Good evening F1 fans

Welcome to our live coverage for the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race, at Interlagos. This is the third such edition of a sprint race weekend, and there will potentially be six of them next year. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? The jury is out.

They probably make the weekend a little bit more interesting and exciting in removing one hour of free practice and replacing it with the sprint race. It means there is a meaningful session on each of the days: qualifying on Friday, the sprint (with points for the top eight) on Saturday and then the grand prix itself on Sunday. They are decent if they are not overused in my opinion, though we have gone from three of 22 races (13 per cent of the season) this season to six of 24 (a quarter) in 2023. That is verging on overkill.

Anyway, Interlagos is a great track, unlike any other on the circuit and it is as good a place to have a sprint weekend as anywhere else. Who can forget Lewis Hamilton's comeback drive last season? They often produce something a bit unusual (Daniel Ricciardo's win in Monza last year, for example) and that was no exception in qualifying yesterday.

After a fairly routine FP1, the heavens opened just before qualifying was due to start and then rain was on and off for the rest of the hour-long session in Sao Paulo. Slicks soon became the order of the day, but as Q3 began the track was as gloomy as it had been all day.

After the first runs Kevin Magnussen surprisingly topped the timesheets with a superb lap, ahead of Max Verstappen. When George Russell beached his Mercedes in the gravel trap at turn four and then the rain started falling once the session restarted, that confirmed both a spectacular and spectacularly unlikely pole position for the Dane after 141 attempts.

Pole position qualifier Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and Haas F1 walks into parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 11, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Pole position qualifier Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and Haas F1 walks into parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 11, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Mark Thompson/Getty Images

There was jubilation in the Haas garage, with the first pole position for their team. Magnussen struggled to sum it all up after the session, with his disbelief audible in his radio message to the team after his lap. He starts ahead of Verstappen and Russell for the sprint, with the finishing order setting the grid for Sunday's grand prix. It would be a result of Magnussen could keep it in the top six.

With some chance of rain for the session, he might have a chance...