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Russell ends "emotional rollercoaster" with maiden F1 victory

Russell ends "emotional rollercoaster" with maiden F1 victory

Russell ends "emotional rollercoaster" with maiden F1 victory

Russell ends "emotional rollercoaster" with maiden F1 victory

George Russell ended Mercedes' win drought with an "emotional" maiden victory at the São Paulo Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old backed up his performance in Saturday's sprint by powering to the top step of the podium at Interlagos to ensure Mercedes would not end the year winless for the first time since 2011.

Despite starting from pole, Russell did not have it easy with team-mate Lewis Hamilton breathing down his neck in the closing stages following a late safety car period.

"What an amazing feeling," said Russell. "Just a huge thank you to the whole team for making this possible.

"It's been an emotional rollercoaster this season. This race was a really tough race. I felt in control but Lewis was super-fast and then when I saw the safety car I thought, 'Jesus, this is going to be a really difficult end'.

"He put me under so much pressure but I'm so happy to come away with the victory."

Asked to explain his feelings on the cool-down lap having taken the chequered flag to become a grand prix winner, Russell revealed how his entire journey to this point came flooding back.

"I'm speechless," he added. "On the in lap, all of these memories came flooding back, starting off with my mum and dad in go karting and going through and all of the support I've had from the rest of my family, my girlfriend, my trainer, my manager.

"And obviously, the likes of Gwen [Lagrue] who gave me the opportunity to get on the programme with Mercedes, and James Vowles and Toto [Wolff]. The list is endless today."

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