‘What are we doing?’: George Russell questions Lewis Hamilton decision

George Russell comfortably won his first-ever Formula 1 race at the Brazilian GP, ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

After a year full of misery and disappointment, Mercedes ended the Brazilian Grand Prix with beaming smiles and a new sense of belief, after George Russell claimed victory at Interlagos.

It wasn’t just a victory, though, as Hamilton sealed second place for the Germans first one-two finish since the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Whilst the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull endured conflict between their own drivers, at Mercedes, there was a real sign of togetherness, with Hamilton having been quick to congratulate his younger team-mate on his first victory in Formula 1.

Russell managed the race beautifully, where he successfully maintained his lead into Turn One, before dealing with two Safety Car restarts effectively.

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The second restart, though, did result in a somewhat twitchy moment perhaps for Russell, after the 24-year-old asked his side if himself and Hamilton, who was second, were “racing” or “protecting” their places.

Russell’s race engineer may have perhaps surprised the former Williams driver with his answer, given that until Sunday, the Silver Arrows hadn’t won a race all season.

“So what are we doing, are we racing or are we protecting the one-two?” Russell asked his race engineer.

“No, you are allowed to race,” the Brit’s engineer replied.

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In the end, no real battle as such took place, with Russell having set the fastest lap of the race after once again managing the restart perfectly.

Hamilton had no answer for his team-mate’s pace, although, the seven-time World Champion was carrying minor floor damage following a collision at the start of the race with none other than Max Verstappen.

Had Hamilton and Verstappen not collided, then Russell might’ve had a much tougher task at Interlagos, which turned into a comfortable lights-to-flag victory for the Mercedes driver.

READ: Max Verstappen shows Red Bull and Sergio Perez who’s in charge

The victory keeps Russell in fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, where he will finish the season, unless the Brit finishes outside the points in Abu Dhabi, with Hamilton winning the race and claiming the fastest lap.

It marks what has been a brilliant first season at the Brackley-based team for Russell, in a year where the Germans have had their worst car of the hybrid era.

Given that he performed so brilliantly in a car that still isn’t up to Red Bull’s overall standard, it’ll be fascinating to see what he can do in 2023 should Mercedes return next season with a car that can be a frontrunner from the Bahrain Grand Prix.