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Russell triumphs in late Brazil showdown to claim first F1 victory

George Russell triumphed in a late-race battle against Lewis Hamilton to secure his first Formula 1 victory, and Mercedes' first of the season.

George Russell has taken his maiden Formula 1 victory after triumphing in a chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix. The 24-year-old has taken his first F1 victory at the 81st attempt after successfully negotiating two Safety Car periods and a late fightback from teammate Lewis Hamilton. Leading from Pole Position, the threat from Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen was short-lived after the pair came to blows at Turn 2 immediately after the first Safety Car period, which came out for an opening lap tangle between Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo. The pair fell down the order, with Verstappen having to pit for a new front wing and being handed a five-second time penalty for the incident. Russell looked to have the race under control, but a late Safety Car for Lando Norris' stricken McLaren brought a recovering Hamilton back into play. However, a competent restart from Russell denied Hamilton a final chance to secure his own first victory of the season.

Carlos Sainz made a late race overtake on Sergio Perez to take third place for Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc recovering from a crash into the barrier to take fourth. After the first restart, Leclerc and Norris tangled into Turn 6, which pitched the Monegasque nose-first into the barrier, and resulted in a five-second penalty for Norris. Fernando Alonso took a remarkable fifth place for Alpine, ahead of the Red Bull duo of Verstappen - who denied a late team order to let his teammate through - and Perez, who fell away on old Medium tyres after the second Safety Car. Esteban Ocon completed a strong recovery for Alpine by securing P8, ahead of Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2