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George Russell wins sprint ahead of Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver George Russell has won the Formula 1 sprint race in São Paulo. The Brit was the first to cross the finish line after 24 laps in the José Carlos Pace autodrome on Saturday, and will be rewarded with eight world championship points and first place on the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday (7:00 p.m. CET, in the FAZ live ticker for Formula 1, on RTL and skies).

Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) was second, record world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) third. However, Spaniard Sainz will be dropped five places for Sunday’s starting grid due to an illegal engine change.

Sebastian Vettel finished ninth in the Aston Martin and went away empty-handed, Mick Schumacher in the Haas-Ferrari, having started from last place, finished twelfth. Schumacher’s stable mate Kevin Magnussen from Denmark, who had sensationally secured pole position the day before with a hussar ride in the rain, was unable to keep up on a dry track, finished eighth and thus secured a World Championship point.

There could hardly have been a better present for Gene Haas: On his 70th birthday, the American team owner was allowed to watch his driver Kevin Magnussen in the Haas VF-22 in front of world champion Max Verstappen starting the short race from pole position and the field at least two led for laps.

“Magnussen is a tough fighter who also fights that are actually pointless for his position,” said Red Bull Motorsport Director Helmut Marko on Sky. However, he was beaten at the beginning of the third round and was passed from first to fourth. First Verstappen overtook him at the end of the start-finish straight, shortly afterwards he also had to let Russell and Sainz go. In the six-year Formula 1 history of the team, a Haas car had never been at the front at the start, and fifth place for Magnussen in Canada had been the highest of emotions so far.

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