Russell takes his maiden win, Hamilton makes it the first British 1-2 in over 12 years and Red Bull’s podium streak comes to an end. Here are the facts and statistics from the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix!
RUSSELL TAKES MAIDEN WIN
George Russell became a Grand Prix winner at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, recording the first victory of his F1 career. Russell is the fourth driver to have taken his maiden Grand Prix victory at Interlagos, after Carlos Pace in 1975, Rene Arnoux in 1980 and Giancarlo Fisichella in 2003.
Russell’s victory was the 125th for Mercedes in Formula 1. Mercedes are the third team to reach the milestone, after Ferrari at the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix and McLaren at the 2000 Spanish Grand Prix.
With this being the first time a British driver has won since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix was the first time that God Save The King was played on the Formula 1 podium. Russell became the 20th British driver to win a round of the World Championship.
Prior to the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Russell had never previously scored at Interlagos.
On his way to victory, Russell set the fastest lap of the race. This is the third consecutive Grand Prix in which Russell set the fastest lap, making it the 33rd occasion that a driver has taken three fastest laps in a row. Russell’s fastest lap marked the 100th time that Mercedes have set the fastest lap in a Grand Prix. They are the fourth team to reach the milestone.
This was the first victory for car number 63 in Formula 1. 63 is the 44th different car number to have taken a victory.
With Kevin Magnussen having secured his maiden pole position and Russell taking his maiden win, the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix marks the first time since the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix that two different drivers have taken their first pole and first win on the same race weekend. It is only the eighth time that it has happened at a World Championship Formula 1 race.
This was the eleventh victory for a Mercedes-powered car in Brazil, seeing them equal Ferrari as the most successful engine manufacturer in the country.
THE FIRST MERCEDES 1-2 IN OVER TWO YEARS
Lewis Hamilton finished as runner-up for the third consecutive race. This is his longest streak of second places since finishing as runner-up at all four races between the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix and the 2016 Australian Grand Prix.
Mercedes recorded their first 1-2 finish since the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while this was the first 1-2 for British drivers since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton led five laps of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, making it the eighth consecutive Interlagos race in which he has led a lap.
This was Mercedes’ fourth 1-2 finish at Interlagos – their first since 2016.
SAINZ ON THE PODIUM
With third place, Carlos Sainz returned to the podium for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix. This was Sainz’s 15th podium finish in total, equalling the career tallies of Jose-Frolian Gonzalez and Thierry Boutsen.
Sainz’s podium was Ferrari’s 32nd podium finish in Brazil. That saw them equal McLaren as the team with the most podium finishes in the country.
The 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix was the third Formula 1 race to feature two British drivers and a Spaniard on the podium. It also happened at the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix and the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
This was the first Mercedes-Mercedes-Ferrari podium since the 2019 Russian Grand Prix.
This was the seventh F1 race in which the top two finished where they started, with the driver starting seventh joining them on the podium. It last happened at the 2001 Japanese Grand Prix.
IN THE POINTS
Charles Leclerc finished fourth, recording his best-ever Interlagos result.
Fernando Alonso came home in fifth place, recording his first top five finish since the Belgian Grand Prix. He made up 12 positions during the race. It’s the most positions he has gained during a Grand Prix since the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix, where he also made up 12 places.
This was Alonso’s best Interlagos result since he finished on the final step of the podium at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Alonso crossed the Interlagos finish line for the 17th time, equalling Michael Schumacher as the driver to have reached the end of a race at the circuit on the most occasions.
For the first time since the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, neither Red Bull driver finished on the podium.
With sixth place, Max Verstappen maintained his 100% points-scoring record at Interlagos. With Lando Norris retiring, Verstappen is now one of only four drivers to have scored points on every Interlagos appearance. Didier Pironi, Gunnar Nilsson and Jackie Stewart are the only other drivers in that group.
Sergio Perez finished in seventh place, recording his first non top six result since his retirement from the Austrian Grand Prix. It’s the first time that Perez has finished outside of the top six in a race in which he has reached the chequered flag since his ninth place at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon finished eighth for a second consecutive race. He also finished eighth at last year’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
With Alonso fifth and Ocon eighth, this was the first time since 2006 that both of the drivers for the Alpine team finished in the top eight in Brazil.
Finishing ninth, Valtteri Bottas scored for a second consecutive Grand Prix. This is the first time the Finn has scored at two races in a row since scoring at all five races between the Australian and Monaco Grands Prix.
This was the first time since 2015 that Bottas has finished an Interlagos race in a better position than where he started.
Lance Stroll picked up a point with a tenth place finish. This was his seventh points-scoring appearance of the 2022 season and the sixth time that he has finished tenth. This was the first time Stroll has ever scored a point at Interlagos.
THE OTHER FINISHERS
For the second year in a row, Sebastian Vettel narrowly missed out on points in Sao Paulo. This was the second Interlagos race in a row in which he finished 11th.
With Stroll 10th and Vettel 11th, this was the first time that both of the Silverstone-based team’s cars finished in the top 11 at Interlagos since 2011.
Sebastian Vettel became the sixth driver to have completed 1,000 Grand Prix laps at Interlagos. He did so one lap after Lewis Hamilton became the fifth driver to reach the same milestone.
Pierre Gasly came home in 14th place, failing to score at Interlagos for the first time since 2018.
With both Gasly and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda outside of the points, this was the first time since 2018 that the Red Bull junior team failed to score in Brazil.
Nicholas Latifi’s 16th place finish made this the fifth consecutive visit in which a Williams driver has finished 16th at Interlagos.
Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen were both out on the first lap following contact between the pair. While Ricciardo recorded his fourth retirement of the year, Magnussen recorded his fifth.
This was the second consecutive Interlagos race from which Ricciardo retired.
Magnussen recorded only the second first lap retirement of his career. The only other time he has been out on Lap 1 was at Interlagos in 2017. Magnussen joins David Coulthard as only the second driver to record multiple first lap retirements at Interlagos.
Lando Norris was the only other retirement from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. With Ricciardo also out, McLaren recorded their first double retirement since the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix. It was the first since 1994 that McLaren recorded a double DNF in Brazil.
Norris’ retirement ended a six race scoring streak and a 15 race finishing streak for the British driver. This was the first time Norris failed to pick up points at Interlagos.
Norris recorded the first retirement for the driver starting eighth at Interlagos since 2006.
Norris retired from the race on his 23rd birthday. He’s the second driver who has failed to finish when racing on his 23rd birthday, after Jacky Ickx at the 1968 South African Grand Prix.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.