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.

Guenther Steiner knows Haas benefitted from circumstance as Kevin Magnussen claimed a shock pole position, but insisted it was not down to luck.

Magnussen will start at the front of the grid in Saturday's sprint race ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix after clinching his first Formula One pole.

The 30-year-old, who joined Haas this year in the wake of Nikita Mazepin's dismissal from the team, recorded the quickest lap of Q3 at the Interlagos Circuit, with the final session ended by a combination of a red flag and rain showers.

Yet Steiner was adamant Haas and Magnussen must take the credit.

"This is the sort of thing that you're scared to dream about. The whole team have been trying hard for seven years. Circumstances let us pull this one off," he told Sky Sports.

"It was not luck, it was well-deserved from the driver and from the team, being on the right tyres at the right time and Kevin putting a lap down when it was needed. 

"He was first out. You could say he had an advantage, but also he had a disadvantage as he had nobody to gauge things from because he was on his own.

"Kevin deserves a lot. The whole team deserves this and he's part of the team. We always work hard, we never give up and we keep on fighting."

It has been another tough season for Haas, who sit eighth in the constructors' standings, with Magnussen and team-mate Mick Schumacher having accumulated just 36 points between them.

They now have a chance to leave their mark with just two races remaining in 2022, while for Magnussen, he fulfilled a dream he might have thought had gone.

"I still can't really believe it," Magnussen told Sky Sports.

"What a phenomenal job the team did to put me out on the pit lane as the first car to give me the best piece of track. It was starting to rain so that was the crucial part.

"In this sport, at least I do go up and down. It's a lot of fun on days like this, that's for sure."

Magnussen burst onto the scene with McLaren in 2014, finishing on the podium in his very first race.

"I didn't know what to expect back then. I came in as this arrogant little kid thinking I was the king of the world," he added with a smile.

"I had a lot of lessons after that, showing how difficult it actually is in this sport. Now I'm on pole position so I'm just going to enjoy."

Surprise pole-sitter Kevin Magnussen pledged "maximum attack" as he aimed to "have some fun" in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix sprint race.

Haas driver Magnussen, who claimed a podium finish in his first Formula One race back in 2014, had never previously topped qualifying.

Yet he claimed a shock pole position on Friday, ahead of world champion Max Verstappen and Mercedes' George Russell, to ensure he will start Saturday's sprint race at the front of the grid.

Magnussen recorded a fastest lap of 1:11.674 before a combination of a rain shower and a red flag due to Russell spinning off ended the session.

"You're kidding, you're kidding, you're f****** kidding me! I've never, ever felt like this in my life," the Dane said on the team radio after being informed he was P1.

Magnussen, the first driver from Denmark to claim a pole in F1, had hardly composed himself by the time he was interviewed following the race.

"I don't know what to say," said the 30-year-old, who signed for Haas earlier this year after Nikita Mazepin had his contract terminated.

"The team put me out on the track at the exact right moment. We were the first out in the pit lane and did a pretty decent lap and we are on pole. It is incredible. 

"Thank you to Gene Haas and [team manager] Guenther Steiner and the whole team for this opportunity. 

"It has just been an amazing journey. It is incredible, thank you."

Asked about his plan for Saturday, Magnussen quipped: "Maximum attack, let's go for something funny."

Magnussen might still have his work cut out to hold off the Red Bull of Verstappen, who said: "We are still at the front. We just stayed calm from Q1 to Q2, then Q3 was where it was a bit more of a lottery but we are still on the front row."

Russell had to settle for P3 following his spin, though the Briton believes the sprint race provides Mercedes with a prime chance to beat Verstappen.

"Firstly, I'm happy to be P3 and congrats to Kevin," he said. "What an awesome job he did and Haas – they truly deserve it for all the efforts they have been putting in.

"P3 is not necessarily where we wanted to be but it's a very good place to be starting for tomorrow's sprint race. 

"I think it is our best shot at finishing ahead of Max and Red Bull if there are some mixed conditions. I think we are ready for a good couple of races."

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 1:11.674
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.203
3. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.385
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) +0.589
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.683
6. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +0.751
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +0.830
8. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.937
9. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +3.927
10. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Pierre Gasly says the "embarrassing" threat of a looming race ban is "a very unpleasant situation" as he prepares for this weekend's Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The AlphaTauri driver, who will move to Alpine next year, has amassed 10 penalty points so far this term, leaving him two shy of the threshold to automatically trigger a one-race suspension.

If he reaches a dozen at Interlagos, he will miss the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend, while his remaining points remain valid for a year, meaning he could still be banned next season - with Brazil the first of nine races where the threat of a ban looms over him. 

Gasly feels the sanctions have been tough on him however, and says he is in dialogue with the FIA to seek clarification on rulings in order to avoid incurring any time spent off-track.

"I'm not going to lie, it's a very unpleasant situation and quite delicate," he stated. "In some ways, [it is] a bit embarrassing to be standing in a position where I could be banned for a race after the season that I've [had].

"I don't really feel like I've been particularly dangerous over these last 12 months and that would definitely be a harsh penalty.

"I've been discussing it quite a lot with the FIA to try and find solutions because the way the regulation is written at the moment, it's quite strict on the drivers, even though it's not always related to dangerous driving."

"I hope we can find solutions out of the weekend to avoid ending up in a silly situation where I'll be banned for a race. That would be terrible for myself and definitely not the way. I don't think that's the correct approach."

Gasly's penalty points have mostly been amassed through collisions this term, including with Lance Stroll in Spain and Sebastian Vettel in Austria.

He was also handed points for exceeding red flag limits during a controversial Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are running out of time to claim a victory in the 2022 Formula One season, and the Brazilian Grand Prix could represent his best chance.

Hamilton has never gone through an entire season without securing at least one win in his storied F1 career, one which has seen him win seven drivers' championships.

Mercedes' much-maligned 2022 car has displayed signs of improvement in recent races, with Hamilton claiming successive second-place finishes at the United States Grand Prix and the Mexico City Grand Prix.

His hopes of turning those runner-up finishes into a place on the top step of the podium in Brazil will be boosted by his record in Sao Paulo.

Hamilton has three victories at the Interlagos circuit, including his dramatic triumph last season as he rattled off wins in three straight races to take his remarkable title fight with Max Verstappen to its infamous finale in Abu Dhabi.

The chances of a title battle akin to their engrossing 2021 duel disappeared a long time ago as Verstappen has claimed a dominant second drivers' championship, setting an F1 record for the most wins in a season with 14 to this point.

But Hamilton, who was made an honorary citizen of Brazil in the build-up to the race this week, will have his own piece of history to celebrate should he interrupt Verstappen and Red Bull's superiority.

A fourth win at Interlagos would see him equal Michael Schumacher for the most successes at the track, and it would surely be a popular one among the home fans.

FERRARI EYEING NEW POLE MILESTONE

While it has not translated into race wins, Ferrari have dominated qualifying in the 2022 season.

The Scuderia have claimed 12 pole positions - tying their best total for a single season from 2004 - and will set a new high if they top the timesheets on Friday.

But the pole-sitter this weekend may not start the race first, with the grid to be determined by Saturday's sprint.

SECOND PLACE STILL UP FOR GRABS

Despite not winning a race so far this year, Mercedes can still overhaul Ferrari and claim second place in the constructors' championship in one of the few remaining battles for position in the standings.

The Silver Arrows trail Ferrari by 40 points with two races remaining, but Mercedes do not appear to be confident of overhauling that deficit.

Strategy director James Vowles said in their most recent race debrief video: "We are here to finish second in the championship, and every single race that we can start pulling that points gap down is a success.

"In Mexico we took just 13 points out of them, so there are still 40 left to go with two races; fortunately, one of those is a sprint race. I think we have a package now, unlike the beginning of the season or the mid-season, that can really bring the fight to them.

"But 40 points is a tremendous ask – it will need us really having everything perfect, everything right – and Ferrari perhaps to give us opportunities to open the door for us to pick up second. What I can tell you is that we are not giving up until the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Max Verstappen's "perfect" 2022 campaign is the most dominant he has seen during his time in Formula One.

Verstappen retained his world title with four races to spare by emerging victorious at last month's Japanese Grand Prix, and he has since posted wins in the United States and Mexico.

The Dutchman broke F1's single-season wins record – previously shared with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel – at the Mexican Grand Prix, securing his 14th race victory of 2022.

The numbers therefore back up Horner's claims this has been a season like no other for Verstappen.

Asked whether his driver had produced the best campaign in recent memory, Horner said: "There's been years of domination with Mercedes, but I think, as an individual driver, probably yes. 

"He's won the most grands prix in a year now, within 22 races. On top of that, he's won two sprint races, and he's not won all of them from pole position. He's had to fight and race for a lot of those victories.

"I think when we look back at the end of the year, it is an absolutely outstanding year that Max has driven. He hasn't put a wheel wrong. 

"He's been perfect throughout the season. It's incredible, the level of consistency that he's been able to achieve."

Last year, Verstappen became the first Red Bull driver to win the world championship since Vettel clinched the last of his four successive titles in 2013, and Horner believes he does not get the recognition he deserves. 

"They are two very different drivers, two phenomenally successful drivers," Horner said of Verstappen and Vettel.

"I think that what Sebastian has achieved in his career puts him among the greats and most successful drivers in the sport, but I think Max, what we're seeing today and this year, we're actually witnessing something very special. 

"I actually think his achievements sometimes don't receive the plaudits that they should, because I think what we've witnessed this year is an absolutely outstanding performance from a driver that is very much at the top of his game."

Lewis Hamilton is grateful to have been made an honorary citizen of Brazil and dedicated the achievement to boyhood idol Ayrton Senna.

The seven-time Formula One world champion received the honour during a ceremony at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia on Monday.

Hamilton delighted home spectators when holding a Brazilian flag from his Mercedes after claiming his third victory at Interlagos last year.

That is also the venue where the Briton won his first world title in 2008, and where he will return this weekend for the penultimate grand prix of 2022.

While Hamilton may still be seeking a first victory of a hugely disappointing campaign, the 37-year-old was all smiles as he received Brazil's legislative medal of merit. 

"I'd like to say a big, big thank you to everyone here, for all those who've moved mountains to make this day possible," he said. 

"It is honestly the greatest honour for me to be here receiving and accepting this citizenship. I really do feel like now I'm one of you, finally.

"The love that's grown since I arrived here in 2007, the experiences we've had and, particularly in 2021, it was one of the most special moments of my entire life. 

"I can't wait for us to continue to strive ahead."

Hamilton's seven world titles is the joint-most in F1 history, level with Michael Schumacher and four more than the late, great Senna.

"I really want to dedicate today, this honour, to Ayrton Senna – to Ayrton's family, to his friends and to his fans," Hamilton added. 

"For me, when I was five years old, I saw Ayrton race for the first time, and that was the moment I knew that I wanted to be a world champion, just like him.

"It was then that I knew and learnt about Brazil. It was then that I started to play FIFA as Brazil! 

"But really, through his eyes, I was able to see how passionate Brazilians were, and how deep it goes, the love and passion you have for your country, and how beautiful it is. 

"I'm so excited to spend some more time here."

Fabio Quartararo turned off his television to avoid witnessing Francesco Bagnaia's title celebrations before quickly turning his attention to reclaiming his MotoGP crown next year.

Quartararo's hopes of retaining his championship were slim heading into Sunday's season-closing Valencia Grand Prix.

The Frenchman needed to win the race while seeing rival Bagnaia finish no better than 15th.

Instead, Quartararo could only manage fourth, while Bagnaia crossed the line in ninth to secure an ultimately comfortable title triumph.

The dethroned champion's pain was clear after the race, but he sought to focus on the positives, using his frustration as motivation for 2023.

"That's the positive and the negative side, of course," Quartararo told BT Sport. "It hurts a lot – I had to turn off the TV.

"But it's motivation to say, 'okay, we lost the title, but I will be back'. The team is working super hard, so there is no reason we cannot fight for the championship next year."

Quartararo referenced "an up-and-down season", which included "quite a lot of struggle", but there is optimism ahead of a post-season test on Tuesday.

"It will be really important," he said. "I want to always be in the top position, and I will try my best. I will work super hard, and I am pushing the team to make the same.

"I think next year is going to be a good year, and hopefully we can really bring a performing bike to fight with them."

Francesco Bagnaia broke down in tears after withstanding an issue with his Ducati to become MotoGP world champion on Sunday, ending a 50-year wait for an Italian to win the title on an Italian bike.

Bagnaia needed only two points at the Valencia Grand Prix to hold off 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo and clinch his first championship.

But the 25-year-old has done things the hard way this year, recovering from a slow start to surge to the top of the standings, and the season-ending race was far from straightforward.

Although Bagnaia enjoyed a strong start to the race to keep the pressure up on Quartararo – who needed to win even if his rival failed to finish – contact between the pair saw the championship leader lose part of his right wing.

It was a struggle then for the former Moto2 champion to get to the finish in one piece, meaning he was in an emotional state after crossing the line in ninth and sealing the title.

"It was the worst race of the year, for sure, maybe of my life, because I was there, fighting with my bike," Bagnaia told BT Sport.

"At the start, everything went well, everything was okay. But after losing my wing, I started struggling a lot – a lot, a lot, a lot. It was very difficult to manage everything.

"I just tried to arrive in the last laps with a bit of calm. Finally, when I saw on the pit board I was world champion, I started to cry a lot. It's something incredible."

Valentino Rossi had been the last Italian MotoGP champion in 2009, while Casey Stoner was the last man to triumph with Ducati in 2007.

Not since Giacomo Agostini took the title with MV Agusta in 1972 had an Italian won on an Italian bike.

"To be world champion is the main thing for every rider in MotoGP," Bagnaia added. "To be world champion with Ducati as an Italian is something unbelievable.

"I'm very happy. It's difficult to share with you my happiness in this moment. I'm very emotional, so it's difficult to say what I really want to say."

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