Max Verstappen says he would be open to partnering Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull Racing next season as speculation over Sergio Pérez’s place at the team continues to simmer.

Pérez has come under increasing pressure since Max Verstappen zeroed in on his third world championship. With the Dutchman having accumulated enough points to secure the constructors title all on his own, focus has turned on Pérez to secure Red Bull Racing’s first one-two finish in the drivers championship.

But the Mexican has struggled to reboot himself after a long slog of poor form in the middle of the season. His performances in Japan and Qatar ranked among his worst of the season, and Lewis Hamilton has since closed to within 20 points of second on the title table.

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Fernando Alonso has promised retribution for those who spread rumours that he’s considering leaving Aston Martin in a bid for Sergio Pérez’s seat at Red Bull Racing.

The days between the Mexico City Grand Prix and the sport arriving in Brazil have been gripped by wild and highly speculative rumours about a shock driver market twist to come in the final weeks of the season.

The rumour mill was set off by respected Spanish journalist Albert Fabrega, who mysteriously tweeted on Sunday night: “I don’t want to believe the rumour that they have told me now in the paddock. No.”

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AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost says he never doubted Daniel Ricciardo’s ability to return to form after his dire two seasons at McLaren.

Ricciardo has returned to the team that effectively launched his Formula 1 career to rebuild his reputation, having lost his seat on the grid after being pummelled by Lando Norris over the last two campaigns.

The Australian spent the first six months of the season restoring his driving style in the Red Bull simulator before getting the nod to replace Nyck de Vries at Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri in late July.

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Formula 1’s all-Americas triple-header ends this weekend with the São Paulo Grand Prix at Interlagos in Brazil, one of the sport’s most storied venues.

While both championships are long wrapped up, history is still up for grabs this weekend.

But rather than history that might be etched onto the F1 honour rolls, this is the battle to retain a place in the grand prix story.

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A Formula 1 team comprises two drivers, but you sometimes get the sense that Red Bull Racing would do just fine with one.

For one, Max Verstappen has been so dominant this year that his points alone would be enough for third in the constructors championship, less than 100 points behind Ferrari.

But after all we’ve seen from the five-time constructors championship-winning team, having just the one driver would also save it a great deal of internal turmoil and embarrassment.

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A front-row lockout converted into an easy one-two finish — Mercedes had the São Paulo Grand Prix so firmly in its grasp that it felt like we were back in the mid-2020s, as though this season had never really happened.

The only difference was the scale of the celebrations, and not just in acknowledgment of George Russell’s long-awaited first victory.

It had been more than 11 months since Mercedes last won a race and more than two years since its cars finished first and second.

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George Russell scores his maiden grand prix victory in São Paulo ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in an unexpectedly dominant weekend for Mercedes. Featuring Autosport grand prix editor Alex Kalinauckas.

David Coulthard, two-time Australian Grand Prix™ victor and winner of 13 Formula 1® races, joins hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to talk about whether Red Bull’s 2022 season is the strongest in its history (01:43), Max Verstappen’s controversial defiance of team orders with Sergio Perez in Brazil (04:24), the importance of finishing runner-up in an F1® season (08:06), his earliest memories of the first year in Red Bull Racing’s history in 2005 (11:22), the legacy left by retiring four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel (17:50) and whether he expects to see Daniel Ricciardo back in F1® after 2023 (20:25).

Max Verstappen parks his Lamborghini in Sergio Perez’s reserved space and refuses to apologise.

It’s sometimes the case in Formula 1 that the most interesting races produce the most miserable drivers — and there was a fair bit of misery on track as the field took the chequered flag at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Max Verstappen was committing a minor mutiny by ignoring team orders, sending Red Bull Racing into meltdown and freeing Sergio Perez to say a bit more of what he really thinks of being teammates with the Dutchman.

Charles Leclerc was slamming his team for not allowing him past Carlos Sainz for a spot on the podium to bolster his chances of finishing runner-up in the championship.

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George Russell claimed the first Grand Prix win of his Formula 1 career with a superbly controlled drive to victory at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The Briton aced his getaway from pole and mastered two safety car restarts to grind out the win ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, securing Mercedes’s first win of the year and first one-two finish since 2020.

“This is just the beginning,” he radioed his team. “I’m so proud of all of you. I knew we could do this.”

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George Russell is a winner at last in Formula 1, although the hard work is still to come on Sunday.

Russell followed Max Verstappen past pole-getter Kevin Magnussen early in the sprint to set up a private duel for first place in the 100-kilometre dash, and after biding his time, he began his siege on the lead.

Twice he tried around Verstappen’s outside at the first turn but was rebuffed.

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George Russell has won his first Formula 1 race after a thrilling duel with Max Verstappen for victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix sprint.

Russell started third behind pole-getter Kevin Magnussen and Verstappen in second, but the Dutchman was the only driver among the frontrunners to start on the medium tire, giving him a grip disadvantage off the line.

The Briton attempted to take second from him immediately at the start, and again through the first lap, but was constantly rebuffed. By the start of the second lap, Verstappen’s yellow tires were up to temperature and he set his sights forward to the lead.

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Esteban Ocon beat Sergio Perez to top sport in final practice at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

It was a typically straightforward Saturday practice session on a sprint weekend, with parc fermé conditions in effect after qualifying on Friday. The focus was on assessing the endurance of the soft tire ahead of the 24-lap sprint race later today.

Ocon started the hour with nine laps on the medium tire, but the yellow compound found little favor among the drivers, and he subsequently switched to a 16-lap run on the soft compound.

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They say if you want excitement on track, just add water. But sometimes just the threat of wet weather is enough.

Rain has been on the forecast all weekend, and having dampened the track before the start of qualifying, it was looming large on the radar again as the top-10 shootout got underway.

It forced teams and drivers to do their best to harmonise the radar, the conditions in the pit lane and their gut instincts to make a decision on how to approach the make-or-break first minutes of the Q3.

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Kevin Magnussen took a sensational maiden Formula 1 pole position for himself and his Haas team at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, with a perfectly timed qualifying lap on slicks before rain soaked the Interlagos circuit.

Q3 started with rain looming on the radar, and nine of the 10 cars in the shootout lined up at pit exit on the soft tire to bank a lap before the heavens opened.

Magnussen was the first in the queue to take to the damp track in the drizzle, and his position on track paid dividends as conditions worsened, putting him on provisional pole with a 0.203s margin ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

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Sergio Perez edged Charles Leclerc at the top of the time sheet in the crucial first practice session for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Perez took top spot around 30 minutes into the session with an early switch to the soft tire, and his best time of 1m11.853s couldn’t be beaten before the end of the hour.

Leclerc came agonizingly close when Ferrari undertook its qualifying simulation laps near the end of the session, with just 0.004s splitting the Scuderia driver from taking control.

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Daniel Ricciardo has acknowledged he could be starting the final two races of his Formula 1 career as he prepares for year on the sidelines in 2023.

Ricciardo had his McLaren contract terminated a year early in August and has been unable to secure a competitive seat on the grid for next season.

He’s heavily tipped to join Mercedes as a reserve driver to keep himself in the paddock ahead of an attempted 2024 return.

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