George Russell carried the momentum of his Brazilian GP sprint win into the race to earn his first Formula One victory ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.
Russell, starting from the front at Interlagos, had to overcome two safety car periods to claim Mercedes’ first win of the season breaking Red Bull’s streak of nine consecutive wins in the process.
With Hamilton in second, it was also the first British 1-2 finish since 2010 when Hamilton and then McLaren teammate Jenson Button took the first two podiums in Canada.
Mercedes are now just 19 points behind second-placed Ferrari in the constructor’s championship, who had Carlos Sainz third and Charles Leclerc fourth. Ferrari decided not to issue team orders despite Leclerc’s ongoing battle with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for second in the championship.
There was trouble in Red Bull’s camp as Verstappen, who has already won his second title, helped Leclerc by refusing to give back sixth place to Perez — who had let him through — despite the team asking him to do so if he could not pass Alpine’s Fernando Alonso for fifth.
Both Perez and Leclerc are now tied for second with 290 points.
Russell got away cleanly from the start with Hamilton in second only for a safety car to be deployed after McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen collided on the opening lap and retired on the spot.
Verstappen and Hamilton then made contact at the re-start on lap seven as they fought for second place, with the pair dropping to eighth and ninth respectively.
Hamilton was third by lap 18 but returned in fourth from the pits while Verstappen was 15th at the half distance after two pitstops in which he had a new front wing, served his penalty and suffered a further delay with a slow rear tyre change.
There was still time for late drama when Norris stopped on lap 53 Mercedes allowing its drivers to race but Russell managed the re-start well and pulled away to take a chequered flag of the Brazilian GP.