Mercedes drivers say they need to “work together” for Brazilian GP win

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he and team mate George Russell will have to co-operate to maximise the team’s chances of scoring their first grand prix victory of 2022 today.

Russell will start today’s Brazilian Grand Prix from pole position after winning yesterday’s sprint race. Hamilton, who finished third, will line up alongside him on the front row after Carlos Sainz Jnr’s grid penalty is applied.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for Mercedes, which began the season in poor shape with an uncompetitive car. “This is such an incredible result for us as a team,” said Hamilton. “We’ve all worked so hard through the year.

“Did we think that we would be starting on the front row of the Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of the year? Not at all. But that’s what everyone’s worked towards.

“So I’m just really incredibly proud of everybody and thankful to everybody back at the factory for their continued efforts and for not giving up. Same with all the women and men here who’ve worked so hard, on their feet, travelling, being away. This is a good day. Tomorrow, we’ve got to work hard to try and keep them behind us.”

Hamilton said the pair will “work together as a team” to maximise their chances of staying ahead of the Red Bulls and Ferraris. “This is about the team. We’ve got to get this result for the team. I think it’d be incredibly special. And obviously, we’re chasing the red guys. So it could be good.”

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Russell said Mercedes’ triumph was “a pretty big milestone for the whole team” after their uncompetitive start to 2022.

Sprint race start, Interlagos, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race in pictures
“When we look back at where we were at the very first sprint [race] of the year, I think I finished eighth,” said Russell, who in fact took 11th in that race, three places ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton. “And here we are going to be lining up one-two tomorrow. I think it’s really exciting.”

The team has only taken pole position once before this season, when Russell did so at the Hungarian Grand Prix. “Obviously, [there] we got pole position via a qualifying session,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve crossed the finish line in first position in a race.”

He believes Mercedes will have truly shown they are back to their best when they win a grand prix. “It obviously is a little bit of a shame that this wasn’t the race tomorrow,” he said. “But nevertheless, as I said, it really goes to show the work we’ve done.”

Having locked out the front row of the grid, Russell said the team needs to take advantage of their strong starting positions to cover off their rivals’ strategies.

“Having Lewis and I one-two on the grid is going to give us some options of the strategy,” he said. “I think we’re going to have to work together to do something different for one of us to try and get the victory for the team.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    18 comments on “Mercedes drivers say they need to “work together” for Brazilian GP win”

    1. Ha ha, “Work together” means “Move over George”?

      1. Before that, it’s more likely that if Russell is in the lead he will be told to hold up Verstappen so that Hamilton can keep close, instead of pulling away in the lead.

        1. If Max has the faster race car, with the straight line speed of the RB there is not much Merc can do except cover with different strategies (like 2 stopping their second car), or goal hanging for a safety car.

      2. Did Russell just give away their race stategy?

        Prerace interview on the track with Naomi from sky, and Russell seems to boob by saying ‘no one knows how well the Mediums will do on this track’.

        So are Mercedes bluffing, or are they planning to start on the Mediums, and would that not mean Redbull starting for sure on the softs to try and get that position back? Or would they try to match Mercedes by starting on the medium?

        If its a bluff, and Mercedes starts on their softs, they would at least match Redbull starting on their softs.

    2. If George chooses to “work together”, he might as well go home.

      1. He just meant that they should not fight too much at the beginning.

    3. Here’s the plan. Let George disappear into the sunset while you, Ham, hold up the rest. Got it? Great!

    4. Work together or Spain 2016 all over again. But serious RB made a mistake with the mediums but Checo wasn’t quicker on the softs so it looks promising for MBs first win this season. I’m wondering if they will go for a split strategy but I doubt if anybody will want to start on the mediums

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        13th November 2022, 16:17

        I think that is the crucial part, start on the softs for track position and worry about tyre wear and strategy later on.

    5. Now George has to prove himself as a racer and not a pushover, and fight for the win with all he’s got, too bad for #2 if ditched in the process

    6. The start will be interesting, George has already said the other race that he would force any other driver off the track but not his teammate.

      Hamilton of course knows that is George’s weakness so no doubt will exploit that when possible.

      1. I Just hope we don’t see a ‘strategic call’ by George which ends up costing the team.

        Speaking of which, does anyone think George beaching his car in the Q3 was a strategic move, done knowing his team mate following was likely to do a better time?

    7. This means George will let Hamilton by (or just lose the position) and try to hold everyone else.

    8. BLS (@brightlampshade)
      13th November 2022, 11:13

      I’d be happy with either Merc driver winning, at least it gives hope of a better 2023 than 2022 ended up as.

      1. I wonder if Mercedes will split the tire strategy. One driver on softs, the other on mediums. Hamilton for the get away, with George driving longer, to pit later and also hold up the field for when Hamilton pits and rejoins.

    9. Let’s see how Verstappen does on the soft tyres before Mercedes gets too ahead of themselves.

      Also, working together usually means Driver A wants Driver B to help him, and Driver B wants Driver A to help him instead. It rarely works out unless there is a clear role for each driver in the team. And as we’ve seen plenty of times this year already, Russell isn’t afraid to prioritize his own chances over playing the Bottas-role. See Zandvoort, for example.

    10. Hamilton has been faster in race pace for quite some time already.

      I don’t think Ferrari and Perez can disturb them this time. But Max is a whole different story.

    11. I also wonder, when George beached his car, making sure with that spin that it was planted, did they give Mercedes an opportunity to work on his car for the sprint win. Does this mean George had a car tune for the sprints, but not necessarily for the race? Does this mean Hamilton’s car is set up for the race and not just qualification / eg sprint? Also about Verstappen, was his car set up from the beginning for the race and not necessarily for qualification or the sprints?

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