George Russell sends rivals warning after confirming Mercedes will have ‘big winter’

George Russell won both the sprint race and the main grand prix in Brazil in dominant fashion.

George Russell has stated the words that Mercedes fans have been waiting for all season, after the Brit confirmed that the Silver Arrows are “definitely in the mix” after claiming his first-ever Formula 1 victory.

The second half of the season has been largely about Mercedes’ resurgence, one that was completed on Sunday at Interlagos, where Russell claimed his maiden F1 victory, and the team’s first of 2022.

To add to their celebrations, the Germans claimed their first one-two since the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, after Lewis Hamilton claimed second.

Russell’s victory in Saturday’s sprint race put him on pole for Sunday’s 71-Lap race, which he led from lights-to-flag.

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The 24-year-old performed brilliantly throughout, where he managed the gap to whoever was in second place to near perfection.

Russell’s only other task on the day was managing two Safety Car restarts, one at the start of the race and one at the end.

Remarkably, it was revealed that the British driver nearly didn’t finish the race, following a water leak throughout.

Nevertheless, the former Williams driver couldn’t hide his emotions after jumping out of the W13, which has caused Mercedes so many headaches this season.

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“Emotional rollercoaster,” Russell said to, when asked how it feels to have won his first-ever race.

“I think when I crossed the line so many emotions came flooding out. The journey I’ve been on since the beginning with my family, from go-karting and the journey we’ve been on this season with the team.

“Starting off so far off the pace, improving then me personally having some very difficult races recently.

“I had a bit of a reset recently going into Mexico, and I’ve been so happy with how these last two weekends have panned out, just so proud of the team.”

His result also sealed fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, unless he fails to finish in the top 10 and Hamilton wins the race with the fastest lap, a somewhat unrealistic outcome.

Mercedes have truly been the team on the rise over recent rounds, with the car finally starting to work at consecutive venues.

Russell is hopeful that their strong end to the year can carry over into 2023, with the Brit expecting a “big winter” at Brackley.

“I think we’re definitely in the mix now,” Russell said, when asked if Mercedes are back.

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“I think this is the first time all season that we can categorically say since Austin, when we brought the update, we’ve had the chance to fight for victory every single race.

“Max and Red Bull are obviously very, very solid at every single track.

“These last few circuits have for sure suited us a bit more, but we’re going to have a big winter and the team are going to be pushing like hell to get Mercedes back to the front, fighting for victories every single week.”