Russell winner of the Sprint and Hamilton 3rd warn their rivals and look for their first victory of 2022

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton will start the Brazilian Grand Prix from the front row and are optimistic about the penultimate round of the 2022 calendar after a Sprint in which they showed they had the pace to fight at the front. This result shows the improvement of the Mercedes single-seaters in a season in which they have had to push themselves to keep up with Red Bull and Ferrari, and in which they have not yet been able to win.

For Russell, who in addition to starting in first position scored 8 points, having so much pace at Interlagos surprised him despite the best pace the W13 has shown since Austin. The Brit said that although he didn’t want to take too many risks when he saw the opportunity he went for the win and he hopes he can repeat that good performance at the GP:

That result just shows all the hard work everyone is putting in and the progress we’ve made as a team. The car has felt great since we brought our last update to Austin, but I didn’t expect to have that much pace. Obviously, it’s hard to know how Max would have fared if he had used the soft tyres, but it’s still a great feeling to be in the lead, it was a good battle.

In the Sprint, you always manage the balance between risk and reward, and I didn’t want to take too many risks and finish from behind, but I also wanted that win. Lewis did a great job from 8th and it’s crazy to think that we’re both starting from the front, it’s going to be exciting. I’m sure Max will fly tomorrow, but we’re in a good position where maybe we can split strategies and go for the win.”

For his part, Lewis Hamilton highlighted the team’s work both on the track and in the factory to put both him and Russell in a position to fight at the front. The #44 hopes that tomorrow they can ‘put together a tandem’ to keep their rivals at bay and go for that longed-for first victory of the year at one of his favorite circuits:

I’m so happy to be here, it’s been an amazing week so far. It was a difficult qualifying for me, but the crowd at the circuit today was incredible. First off congratulations to George – my race was all about working my way up from 8th and this result goes out to everyone at the factory, everyone here at the track, they have been working so hard this year.

For us to be on the front row tomorrow is amazing – from there we should be able to work as a team and hopefully keep the cars behind at bay. We’re going to push as hard as we can and if we can get good tire degradation and hopefully good weather then we’ll have a good fight on our hands.”