Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto remains "pretty relaxed" after discussing his future with chairman John Elkann amid claims the Italian could be sacked.

Reports in Italy this week suggested Ferrari were moving to appoint Alfa Romeo's Frederic Vasseur to replace Binotto, who has been in the Formula One role for four seasons.

In that period, Ferrari have struggled to compete with dominant Mercedes and Red Bull teams, though Binotto's team could finish second in the constructors' championship this year.

Ferrari sit 19 points clear of third-placed Mercedes heading into Sunday's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Binotto far from fearing for his future with the Italian constructors.

"Obviously it's not down to me to decide, but I'm pretty relaxed," Binotto told reporters on Saturday after Ferrari talked down exit reports earlier in the week.

"The reason why I'm relaxed is that I always [have] open, frank and constructive discussions with my bosses, with my chairman, not only in the short term but the medium and the long term.

"When these speculations were out, I had a chat with my chairman John Elkann.

"We discussed openly what was the best way to move forward, and we decided to release a statement was maybe the best way to close any speculation and clearly show that speculation is totally with no foundation."

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have helped a resurgence this season for Ferrari, who went winless in 2020 and 2021 but have won four races in 2022.

Monegasque driver Leclerc appeared an early contender for the title before Max Verstappen and Red Bull ran away with the drivers' and constructors' championships.

Despite erroneous pit decisions, reliability issues with the car designs and mistakes from their drivers, Binotto offered a positive outlook on Ferrari's performance but said there was room to improve.

"Yes, there are still a lot of things that we need to progress, weaknesses have been shown," he said.

"But I'm pretty sure that as we did in the past, we will review, we will try to address them."

Helmut Marko says Daniel Ricciardo will be Red Bull's third driver in the 2023 Formula One season.

Ricciardo is without a seat on the grid next year after his McLaren contract was terminated 12 months before it was due to end.

The Australian paid the price for a disappointing season in which he has finished in the top 10 just six times, sitting 12th in the driver standings.

Ricciardo had stated that spending time away from F1 could be a "blessing in disguise", but Red Bull advisor Marko revealed he will have a part to play after all.

Marko told Sky Germany ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: "Ricciardo will be our third driver.

"We have so many sponsors, we have to do show runs and the like, so of course he's one of the most high profile and best suited."

Ricciardo spent five seasons with Red Bull before joining Renault for the 2019 and 2020 campaigns.

World champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will remain Red Bull team-mates for the 2023 season.

A new Formula One competition for young female drivers will start next year.

The F1 Academy will be introduced in 2023 to develop and prepare drivers with the aim of progressing to competitions such as F1, Formula 2, Formula 3 and W Series.

There will be five teams, run by current F2 and F3 constructors, with three cars each to make up a grid of 15.

The inaugural series will include 21 races, with three taking place at seven events on the calendar.

Drivers will be competing in cars with a Tatuus T421 chassis, with Autotecnica supplying turbocharged engines that will produce 165 horsepower.

CEO of Formula Motorsport Limited Bruno Michel will manage the new series, with F1 to subsidise the cost of each car with a budget of €150,000 - with drivers covering the same costs.

"Everyone should have the opportunity to follow their dreams and achieve their potential and Formula One wants to ensure we are doing everything we can to create greater diversity and routes into this incredible sport,” said F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

"That is why I am delighted to announce the F1 Academy that will give young female drivers the best chance to fulfil their ambitions through a comprehensive programme that supports their racing careers and gives them everything they need to move into F3 and hopefully to F2 and then the pinnacle of Formula 1.

"The more opportunity there is the better and this is designed to provide another route for the drivers to succeed."

Max Verstappen has described media coverage of his disagreement with Sergio Perez at the Brazilian Grand Prix as "ridiculous", saying he and his family received "disgusting" abuse after the incident. 

Last week, Verstappen infuriated Perez by defying orders to give up sixth position to aid his Red Bull team-mate in his battle to finish second in the drivers' championship.

Having said Verstappen's move showed "who he really is" over team radio, Perez went further in his criticism of the world champion after the race, declaring: "If he has two championships, it's thanks to me".

On Thursday, Red Bull released a statement acknowledging the team's mistakes in Sao Paulo, claiming Verstappen had been placed "in a compromising situation with little time to react".

The team also condemned "shocking and saddening" online abuse directed towards both drivers and their families, saying: "At the end of the day this is a sport, we are here to race. Death threats, hate mail and vitriol towards extended family members is deplorable."

Speaking at a press conference to preview the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Thursday, Verstappen defended his actions in Brazil and hit out at those who blamed him for the incident. 

"We had a bit of a miscommunication on Saturday and Sunday, nothing had been said to me about a potential swap," Verstappen said.

"It was only coming into that last lap that it was said on the radio, and they should have known my response already from what I said the week before. 

"After that race we had some good discussion, we put everything on the table, and everything has been solved.

"In hindsight, we should have had that conversation earlier because I have never been a bad team-mate to anyone. I've always been very helpful, and the team knows that.

"After that race, I looked very bad in the media but they also didn't have the clear picture, but to immediately put me down is pretty ridiculous to be honest. 

"Because they don't know how I work within the team and what the team appreciates about me, so all the things I have read are pretty disgusting.

"And even more than that, they started attacking my family, threatening my sister, my mum, my girlfriend and my dad. That goes way too far while you don't have the facts of what's going on. For me, that has to stop.

"If you have a problem with me, that's fine but don't go after my family because that is just unacceptable. We move on. Honestly, I have a great relationship with Checo. But I just don't understand when people don't have the full picture, to immediately start attacking me like that.

"I'm just a bit fed up with all this bull**** going around all the time. At the end of the day, I haven't done anything wrong, people just misunderstood what was going on."

Perez, meanwhile, told Sky Sports he wished to move on from the incident after discussing it with Verstappen.

"We have discussed everything internally," he said. "There's been a lot of speculation on social media, a lot of hate, that is not nice to see.

"We're just ready to move on as a team. What happened there, we discussed it, and we're ready to move on as a team."

Haas have opted to part company with Mick Schumacher following a disappointing Formula One campaign, replacing him with fellow German Nico Hulkenberg.

The future of Schumacher – son of seven-time world champion Michael – had been in doubt, with his contract set to expire following this weekend's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Schumacher secured his best race finish of sixth at July's Austrian Grand Prix, but sits 16th in the driver standings with just 12 points to his name.

Haas are eighth in the constructor standings following a troubled season, which began with the team terminating the contract of Nikita Mazepin in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, Schumacher said: "This is going to be my last race with Haas F1 Team. I don't want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract.

"Nevertheless, I would like to thank both Haas F1 and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity. These years together have helped me to mature both technically and personally, and especially when things got difficult, I realised how much I love this sport.

"The subject is anything but closed for me. Setbacks only make you stronger. My fire burns for F1 and I will fight hard to return to the starting grid."

Schumacher's replacement Hulkenberg has made 181 starts in F! and gets another chance after spending two seasons as Aston Martin's reserve driver.

Hulkenberg stood in for Sebastien Vettel in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia this season, and has also raced for Williams, Force India, Sauber and Renault during his 12-year F1 career.

"I'm very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023. I feel like I never really left Formula One," the German said.

"We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all the other teams in the midfield, and I cannot wait to join that battle again."

Max Verstappen will look to put the fallout from the Brazilian Grand Prix behind him and finish a dominant title-winning season in style with an historic victory in Abu Dhabi.

Verstappen has long had the title wrapped up, winning a second successive drivers' championship by setting the record for the most grand prix victories in a single campaign.

The Red Bull driver has won 14 races in 2022, though he could only manage sixth place last time out at Interlagos and appeared to significantly damage his relationship with his team-mate, Sergio Perez, in the process.

Verstappen overtook Perez following a late safety car to take sixth, having been encouraged by his team to challenge Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in third and fourth, as long as he could first overtake Fernando Alonso.

With Verstappen unable to get past the Alpine, he was told to hand his position back to Perez, who remains in a battle with Leclerc for second in the drivers' championship.

The Dutchman refused to do so, however, telling race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase he had given his reasons.

Perez was infuriated by Verstappen's failure to give way, exclaiming over team radio: "It shows who he really is."

Speaking to Sky Sports after finishing seventh, Perez said: "I have nothing to say, really. After all I have done for him, it is a bit disappointing, to be honest. I am really surprised."

Perez went further when asked about the incident in Spanish by ESPN, declaring: "If he has two championships, it's thanks to me."

The Mexican is level with Leclerc on 290 points and, while he will be looking to seal second spot, Verstappen may again have his reasons for targeting individual glory.

Verstappen has won the last two grands prix in Abu Dhabi and could become the first driver to win the race three times in a row.

Though both titles are wrapped up, there will still be plenty of focus on Red Bull and whether they can work in harmony after a rocky end to a dream season.

HAMILTON'S LAST CHANCE

Mercedes finally claimed a 2022 win in Sao Paulo, but it was George Russell who took the chequered flag ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Seven-time champion Hamilton has never gone an entire season without a win in his storied career, but is now in the last chance saloon.

He has a superb record at the Yas Marina circuit, winning five times, more than any other driver, and that tally must be extended for him to avoid an unwanted first.

SO LONG, SEB

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will bring the curtain down on the glittering career of Sebastian Vettel.

Four-time world champion Vettel is to retire from the sport at the end of the campaign, with this marking his 300th grand prix entry and his 299th start.

He has won three times in Abu Dhabi and, while victory for Aston Martin is unlikely, his history at the circuit may boost hope of him finishing on a high.

Ferrari have denied reports they are preparing to replace team principal Mattia Binotto with Alfa Romeo's Frederic Vasseur.

The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper claims the Italian team have decided to end Binotto's spell at the helm after four seasons.

Binotto, 53, has overseen a period where Ferrari have often struggled against the might of the Mercedes and Red Bull teams.

Charles Leclerc sits second in the drivers' championship this season, level on points with Sergio Perez but a long way behind Max Verstappen, who has clinched the title.

As a team, Ferrari sit second ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. They are narrowly ahead of Mercedes but a huge 195 points adrift of Red Bull.

Leclerc finished fourth in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, with Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz taking third place.

Ferrari said in a team statement on Tuesday: "In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto's position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation."

Vasseur, 54, is team principal of the Alfa Romeo team, with the famous marque having returned to Formula One in 2018 in a tie-up with Sauber. Alfa Romeo plans to end its association with Sauber at the end of 2023.

Kimi Raikkonen was Ferrari's last drivers' champion in 2007, while the team last won the constructors' championship in 2008.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez's disagreement at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix has left former world champion Jenson Button "amazed" over potential discord in the Red Bull garage.

The pair were involved in late drama during Sunday's race, when the Dutchman defied team orders and refused to cede a place to his team-mate in the closing stages at Interlagos.

Vertsappen, who has wrapped up a second consecutive drivers' championship already, denied Perez the chance to move second in the standings ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc with his move.

The incident prompted cryptic but heated comments from both men, and now Button - who won the 2009 title with Brawn - has mused on the reasons behind their spat.

"I'm more amazed by [Perez's] comment, I love it, 'Shows who he really is'," Button said on the Sky Sports programme Any Driven Monday.

"It's a tricky one because we just hear one side of it, we don't hear what his reasons are.

"It doesn't come across well, and when you hear his comments saying 'No I'm not letting him past, I've got my reasons', if we don't hear the reasons we think Max is being selfish, he's not thinking about the team or his team-mate.

"I did see something in the media, I don't know if it's factual, but I think he was very upset about the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying where [Perez] ended up in the wall.

"Maybe that's his reason for not wanting to give the place up, because it hurt his qualifying in Monaco and maybe he thought [Perez] found the wall easier than he should have."

A qualifying crash for Perez prevented a potential pole position for Verstappen in Monaco, where the Mexican ultimately went on to win.

It has been suggested the Dutchman's actions have been in response to that, though Perez has since respected team orders on multiple occasions to give his fellow Red Bull man a race advantage this season.

Lewis Hamilton is "not concerned" about racing against Max Verstappen in future despite the two clashing in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

After a red flag on the opening lap in Sao Paulo, the restart saw the two familiar foes make contact heading into the second corner, forcing both off the track.

The incident dropped Hamilton from second to eighth, while Verstappen required a new front wing.

The world champion was handed a five-second time penalty for his part in the crash, which was reminiscent of a number of battles between the pair in their thrilling title battle last season.

Verstappen blamed his rival after the race, which Hamilton's team-mate George Russell went on to win while the seven-time world champion followed up in second to earn a Mercedes one-two.

"It cost him the race win and it gave me five seconds," Verstappen told Sky Sports. "It wouldn't have mattered anything for my race.

"I thought we could race quite well together but clearly the intention was not there to race."

Hamilton responded in the post-race press conference, saying: "I am not concerned.

"I think it's natural when you have the success and the numbers on your chest that you become a bit of a target.

"But it's okay, it's nothing that I've not dealt with before."

The clash with Hamilton was not Verstappen's sole controversy from the race, after he refused to hand sixth place to Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who called Verstappen's decision "disappointing" with the Mexican battling Charles Leclerc for second place in the drivers' championship.

George Russell was lauded by team-mate Lewis Hamilton after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, with the first-time Formula One race winner left "speechless" by his success.

Having won Saturday's sprint race, Russell led from the start in an eventful race on Sunday, coming out on top after two restarts following safety cars at the Interlagos Circuit. 

Russell had to fend off Hamilton – who had earlier clashed with Max Verstappen but come away largely unscathed and unpunished – after the second safety car, but there was no bad blood between the Mercedes duo at the end.

"What an amazing feeling," said Russell after sealing Mercedes' first win of the season. "Just a huge thank you to the whole team for making this possible. 

"It has been an emotional rollercoaster this season. This was a tough race, I felt in control.

"Lewis was super-fast and when I saw the Safety Car, I thought this is going to be a really difficult end, he put me under so much pressure.

"I am speechless. On the in lap, all of these memories start flooding back, starting with my mum and dad at go-karting and going through to all of the support I have had from the rest of my family, my girlfriend, my trainer, my manager.

"The list is endless. I can't thank them all enough, I am super proud."

Hamilton said: "A huge congratulations to George. What an amazing drive he did today.

"He did an amazing qualifying yesterday, so he truly deserves it. To my team, so proud of everyone back at the factory and here. This is an incredible result. 

"We’ve worked so hard through this year to get a 1-2 and to get a win, and so this is hugely deserved by everybody so a huge thank you."

On his collision with old rival Verstappen, who received a five-second time penalty, Hamilton added: "What can I say, you know how it is with Max."

The harmony in the Mercedes camp was not replicated in the other teams. 

While Red Bull's Sergio Perez was left infuriated by Verstappen, who refused to hand sixth place back to the Mexican after failing to overtake Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc also wanted Ferrari to concede Carlos Sainz's place on the podium to boost his chances of finishing second in the world championship.

Leclerc will now head into the final race in Abu Dhabi on level points with Perez.

"I think we can be happy with that," said Sainz. "It is a shame that Mercedes are so quick but congratulations to George."

Sergio Perez hit out at Max Verstappen after his Red Bull team-mate refused to hand him sixth place at Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, saying: "If he has two championships, it's thanks to me".

Verstappen overtook Perez following a late safety car at the Interlagos Circuit to take sixth, having been encouraged by his team to challenge Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in third and fourth, as long as he could first overtake Fernando Alonso.

With Verstappen unable to take points off the Ferraris, he was told to hand his position back to Perez, who is battling Leclerc for second place in the drivers' championship standings.

However, the two-time world champion failed to do so before telling race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase: "You guys don't ask that again to me, okay? Are we clear about that? I have given my reasons."

Perez was infuriated by Verstappen's failure to give way, exclaiming over team radio: "It shows who he really is."

Speaking to Sky Sports after finishing seventh – a result which leaves him level with Leclerc in the standings, Perez said: "I was told to let him by and that I was going to get the position back.

"I don't know what the complications were on his side. I have no idea, maybe you should ask him about it.

"I have nothing to say, really. After all I have done for him, it is a bit disappointing, to be honest. I am really surprised."

Perez went further when asked about the incident in Spanish by ESPN, declaring: "If he has two championships, it's thanks to me."

However, Verstappen told Sky Sports he remained willing to support Perez in next week's final race of the season, while refusing to explain his decision not to hand the place back. 

"I have my reasons for that, we just discussed that [in the debrief]," he said. "I think it was good that we finally just sat together and talked about it, and we'll just move forward from here.

"If we go to Abu Dhabi [next Sunday] and he needs support, it is not the end of the world. It is all about who finishes ahead, anyway. 

"If he needs the help, I am there, but it is good that we first talked about it now and cleared everything that was there and why I didn't do it."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, meanwhile, insists the team will prioritise Perez's battle for second next time out.

"We will go to Abu Dhabi to get Checo the second place and Max will support that," Horner told Sky Sports. "We won't talk about what happens internally, but the drivers shook hands on it.

"We work as a team, we race as a team and our priority is to help Checo get second in the championship. We will do the best we can to achieve that and if Max can help in any way, he will do."

George Russell led from the start in a dramatic, stuttering Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday to clinch his first Formula One win, holding off Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Having won the sprint race at the Interlagos Circuit on Saturday, Russell kept his composure while those around him clashed and collided in a race full of incident.

The race was halted by a red flag on the first lap, with Daniel Ricciardo crashing into Kevin Magnussen, and Hamilton was perhaps fortunate to come away unscathed and unpunished after a collision with Max Verstappen following the restart – which saw the world champion handed a five-second time penalty.

A second safety car was brought out after Lando Norris lost power on the track with 19 laps remaining, but another fine restart from Russell saw him see off Hamilton and claim a deserved maiden victory.

Sunday's race was dramatic from the start as Ricciardo and Magnussen crashed out as early as Turn 8 – and the restart brought another collision, this time between old rivals Hamilton and Verstappen.

Hardly strangers to battles and bruises down the years, Hamilton and Verstappen tussled on Turn 2.

Verstappen got around the seven-time world champion on Turn 1, but despite appearing to have the racing line on the inside on the next corner, it was the Dutchman who was punished after a significant collision – though both cars were able to stay in the race.

Charles Leclerc was also sent spinning into the barrier after an incident involving Norris, but the Ferrari was able to continue.

Hamilton recovered swiftly, with the Mercedes driver clawing his way ahead of Norris, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez.

A three-second loss in the pits cost Verstappen further time, though the Red Bull's speed was on show as he quickly cruised back into the points.

However, Norris' vehicle failed him on lap 52, resulting in a second full safety car. Having seen his 11-second lead cut by that stoppage, Russell might have lost his nerve, but a wonderful restart propelled him out of Hamilton's DRS range.

Sainz came in third, leaving Leclerc dismayed, though the day belonged to Mercedes, who are aiming to cap a frustrating season with a flourish.

Team-mates tussle

There are few friends in F1, it would seem. While Hamilton was happy to congratulate his team-mate Russell on a maiden F1 success, there was frustration within the ranks of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Leclerc was begging Ferrari to instruct his team-mate Sainz to give way, and concede a podium place, in order to boost his chances of finishing second in the world championship.

Verstappen, meanwhile, ignored Red Bull's instructions to hand sixth place back to Perez if he was unable to pass Fernando Alonso. "I have given you my reasons," Verstappen said on the team radio. 

Magnussen's weekend ends in sorrow 

Haas driver Magnussen took a shock pole in qualifying on Friday, though he went down to eighth in the sprint race. However, by Turn 8 on the first lap, the 30-year-old had crashed out.

Ricciardo, who could now face a grid penalty in his last race for McLaren, was to blame for clipping the back of Magnussen's car, with the Australian compounding the issue when he failed to avoid the spinning Haas, sending both vehicles into the wall and out of the race.

IN THE POINTS

1. George Russell (Mercedes)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.529 seconds
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +4.051s
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +8.441s
5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +9.561s
6. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +10.056s
7. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +14.080s
8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +18.690s
9. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +22.552s
10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +23.552s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 429
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 290
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 290
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 265
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 240

Constructors

1. Red Bull 719
2. Ferrari 524
3. Mercedes 505
4. Alpine 167
5. McLaren 148

Lewis Hamilton is planning to work alongside teammate George Russell to secure victory in Sunday's race in Sao Paulo, following a stellar showing in Saturday's Sprint.

Russell was a surprise victor after overtaking champion Max Verstappen to secure pole position for the race, while Hamilton rose from eighth to join his teammate on the second row.

It hands Mercedes their best chance of victory in 2022, after what has been a frustrating season for last year's winning side, as they look to end the season on a high in the final few races.

While Hamilton is still seeking to avoid this being the first season where he has failed to secure a single win, his priority is in getting the best result for the team and he is looking to unite with Russell.

"This just goes to everyone back to the factory, everyone here working on the ground working so hard this year," he said after the Sprint.

"This is an amazing result, for us to be on the front row tomorrow is incredible so from there we should be able to work as a team and hold off the guys behind.

"We are going to try as hard as we can. If we can have some good degradation tomorrow, hopefully some good weather we can have a good fight on our hands. A win here for Brazil would be incredible."

Russell was left surprised by his performance on Saturday and is wary of the threat that Verstappen poses, with the Red Bull ace sitting on the second row alongside teammate Sergio Perez.

"It's crazy to think we are both starting on the front row and Lewis did a great job starting coming from P8," he said.

"I'm sure Max is going to be flying tomorrow coming through the pack but we are in a luxury position and we can maybe split the strategy and go for the win."

Mercedes enjoyed a strong Saturday ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix as George Russell won the sprint race at Interlagos.

Kevin Magnussen was the surprise pole holder after his brilliant qualifying session on Friday, though the Haas driver, who had promised to go "maximum attack" slipped well down the grid.

Russell qualified third and delivered a brilliant drive to claim his first race win and get himself on pole for Sunday's grand prix.

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari clinched second, though a five-place penalty should see Lewis Hamilton join his team-mate at the front of the grid, although the result will be subject to a stewards' enquiry.

Hamilton will be investigated, along with Daniel Ricciardo and Zhou Guanyu, for his position in his grid box at the start of the sprint.

Should he retain his place in second, Hamilton – who is aiming to equal Michael Schumacher as the driver with the most wins at Interlagos (four) – will take his place on the front row for the first time in 2022.

Max Verstappen went out on mediums instead of soft tyres, and that decision backfired as he dropped from second to fourth, though the world champion will move up thanks to Sainz's penalty, which came as a result of the Spaniard clipping the Dutchman's Red Bull.

Sergio Perez, Verstappen's team-mate, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris will start ahead of Sainz, while Magnussen will have to settle for eighth.

For Mercedes, the omens are good, with 15 of the last 17 winners at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix having come from the front row, with eight of the winners having started on pole.

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. George Russell (Mercedes)
2. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +3.995
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +4.492
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +10.494
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +11.855
6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +13.133
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) +25.624
8. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +28.768
9. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +30.218
10. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) +34.170

George Russell is in a good spot going into Saturday's sprint race at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, but his session ended poorly as he spun out violently.

Ultimately, the time he set previously ended up being good enough to take third, with his incident chewing up valuable track time as the rain arrived.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Russell said it was a rough session physically, detailing the damage inside the car.

"I have broken the headrest because my head was banging so much," he said. "It was a pretty unpleasant experience.

"I wanted to do a 360, but then did the rears in the gravel, so probably not the wisest choice I have ever made.

"As it turned out, we knew that the first lap was it all."

He added that he believes there should be no ill-effects for his car the rest of the weekend stemming from the crash.

"There was no damage, but you are always tentative as it is lifted onto the tow truck," he said. 

"There is a lot of gravel, so the guys are going to have to take the car to pieces tonight to make sure we have got all of the gravel out, but it should be ok."

Teammate Lewis Hamilton made his way back out onto the track following the incident, but he said the track was in no condition to put up a strong time.

"I went out there to see what the conditions were like, but obviously it was properly wet," he said.

"It was just difficult to see the conditions, difficult to see the rain drops because it was so dark and I was the last car out, so I think I got the earliest part of the rain and probably lost too much in the tyres in the pitlane.

"Just a bit unfortunate, but George did a great job, and congratulations to Kevin [Magnussen]."

Haas' Magnussen will start the sprint race from pole, with Max Verstappen in second.

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