June 3, 2023

George Russell won his first grand prix and Mercedes’ first race of 2022 with a calm performance that saw him take control of two restarts following the deployment of the safety car.

He also withstood late pressure from teammate Lewis Hamilton, who had ascended to second place after an early accident with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Carlos Sainz, who drives for Ferrari, came in third position overall.

At the drop of the green flag, pole sitter Russell took the lead into Turn 1, followed by Hamilton, who was in front of Verstappen and Hamilton’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez. While the rest of the race was going into Turn 8, Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren collided with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. This occurred further back. And as the Danish driver swung around, he eventually slid back into the path of the Australian driver’s vehicle. Ricciardo was thrown into the barriers, and the Safety Car went into motion as a result.

The yellow flag was removed at the end of lap 6, and there was tremendous excitement after that. At the restart, Russell was in the lead, but Verstappen was putting pressure on Hamilton around the outside.

In Turn 1, he was able to get ahead of Hamilton, but Hamilton fought back, and as they entered Turn 2, they made contact with each other, causing both of them to immediately fall back in the field. A few seconds later, there was even more excitement as Norris collided with Leclerc in Turn 6, sending the Ferrari off the course. He was able to keep running, although he ended up rejoining the field at the far rear.

At the completion of the lap, Verstappen and Leclerc entered the pit lane. After getting a new front wing and some medium tyres, the Dutchman was able to restart the race in position 17, which was a better position than Leclerc’s.

The stewards decided to investigate the incident that occurred between Verstappen and Hamilton, and the Red Bull driver received a five-second time penalty for his role in creating the accident.

Pérez was in second place, and now Russell was in the lead. Sainz is now in third place, one spot ahead of Norris, while Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin is in sixth, one spot ahead of Hamilton. Soon after, Hamilton resumed his ascent up the standings and rapidly moved above of Vettel and Norris to go into fourth place by lap 15.

Because a piece of his visor had been lodged in the brake duct on the right rear of Sainz’s car, he was the first of the leaders to come in for service. On lap 18, the Spaniard was instructed to change his starting medium tyres for a set of soft tyres by the team.

Pérez made his first pit stop on lap 24, dropping from second place to sixth place behind Bottas. The Mexican driver swiftly passed the Alfa Romeo, but as soon as he did so, Russell made his pit stop for medium tyres and exited ahead of the Red Bull. Hamilton grabbed the lead shortly after this.

After paying the time penalty for his pit stop and switching to soft tires, Verstappen rejoined the race in 17th place shortly after his teammate had completed their stop.

The Mercedes driver subsequently made his first pit stop on lap 30, changing to medium tyres, and moving back into fourth place, behind Sainz.

Soon after the halfway point, Russell had a lead of five seconds over Pérez, and he was 5.2 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who had moved up to third place when Sainz completed his second pit stop of the race and switched over to medium tyres for the remainder of his stint. He is in in fourth place, five seconds ahead of Bottas, who is in fifth place.

Pérez was now beginning to come under pressure from Hamilton, and on lap 44, Hamilton used DRS to outdrag the Mexican on the long run across the line to take second position. This let Hamilton to pass Pérez for the second place.

On lap 48, Pérez made his final pit stop of the afternoon and switched to medium-sized tires for his final run of the afternoon. In response, Mercedes pulled Hamilton into the pits at the conclusion of the next lap of the race, where he changed to soft tyres for the remainder of the competition. Sainz moved up to second place, despite the fact that he was racing on medium tires that were getting old, while Hamilton moved back into position three, passing Pérez to do so.

Norris lost power and came to a stop near the outside line of Turn 8 on lap 52, which was a pivotal moment in the race. The VSC was made operational. Sainz made the most of the opportunity to pit and change to soft tires, which allowed him to rejoin the race in fourth place, just behind Pérez. However, because to the fact that Norris’s vehicle appeared to be stuck in gear, the yellow flag was upgraded on lap 55, and a line developed behind the actual Safety Car.

After 59 complete laps, the Safety Car was allowed to leave the circuit. Russell was able to take control of the restart far ahead of Hamilton, but Peerez, who was racing on medium tires, was put under intense pressure by Sainz and Leclerc, who were both equipped with soft tires.

Further back, Verstappen, who had fallen to 10th but had recovered to that position, had a strong restart and was quickly up to seventh place. Pérez, on the other hand, was having a lot of trouble, and Sainz, Leclerc, and then, on lap 65, Fernando Alonso of Alpine overtook him to take the lead. This dropped him to position six, and his team then let Verstappen, who was faster, to pass in order to pursue Alonso. It was explained to him that if he was unable to catch the Spaniard, he would have to hand over the position to the other member of their squad.

After a few minutes, Russell crossed the finish line to capture his maiden win, which came at the 81st attempt. Hamilton finished in second place, ahead of Sainz, Leclerc, and Alonso.

However, Verstappen did not want to give back sixth place to his teammate, and this choice caused a lot of radio conversation on the Red Bull pit wall. Pérez finished in eighth place, ahead of Bottas, Ocon, and Lance Stroll of the Aston Martin team.

As a consequence of this outcome, Checo will enter the last race of the season tied with Leclerc for 290 points but will start in third place. This is owing to the fact that Checo’s adversary at Ferrari has won more races than Leclerc has. Due to Russell’s victory, he now sits in fourth place with 265 points, 25 more than his fellow teammate Hamilton.

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