George Russell after Sprint Race win: “We’re in a luxury position”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After winning the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint Race, George Russell says Mercedes can “maybe split the strategy and go for the win”.

After a difficult season, George Russell brought Mercedes its first victory of the season. Although it wasn’t the main event on Sunday, George brilliantly overtook Max Verstappen to win the Saturday Sprint Race.

Afterwards, George said he had to be more careful than usual when battling Max.

“It was incredible,” the Briton said.

“I wasn’t expecting to have that much pace but it goes to show all the hard work that everybody is putting in and the progress we, as a team, have made.

“And these last three races since Austin, the car has been feeling really great.

“Obviously, it’s difficult to know how Max would have got on had he been on the soft tyres but nevertheless, standing here is a great feeling.

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“It’s a bit difficult because, obviously, this is a sprint race and you’ve got to manage that risk-reward, so even though I was dying to get that victory, I didn’t want to risk it too much and end up with no points and starting at the back.

“But we made it stick third time lucky.”

After an amazing drive, Lewis Hamilton managed to progress from P8 to P3, and because of Carlos Sainz’s penalty he will start the race on Sunday from P2. George says this gives Mercedes good strategy options.

“It’s crazy to think that we’re both starting on the front row. Lewis did a great job coming from P8 so it’s going to be exciting.

“I’m sure Max is going to be flying, coming through the pack but we’re in a luxury position where we can maybe split the strategy and go for the win,” Russell concluded.

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