Daniel Ricciardo has suffered a horror exit from the Brazil Grand Prix in what could be his second last race of his F1 career.
George Russell enjoyed his first ever Formula One grand prix victory to end a season-long blank for Mercedes in a one-two with seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton in Brazil.
'OH MY WORD': F1 world erupts over never-before seen moment
Russell led from the start at Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit after winning Saturday's 100km sprint, a race that determined Sunday's starting grid, to halt a run of nine wins in a row by champions Red Bull.
However, while the young British star had plenty to smile about, Ricciardo's season spiralled to a brutal low after he was forced out of the race on lap 1.
Ricciardo said he was full of confidence coming into Brazil having snared some points in Mexico and told Sky Sports he was looking to replicate the feat.
But, it didn't take long for the Australian's hopes to be dashed when he crashed into Kevin Magnussen on the first lap to bring the safety car out.
Neither driver could continue.
“It’s all going to go horribly wrong... that is 100 per cent Daniel’s fault,” Martin Brundle said after the crash.
“That was a shame. I’ve got to give that 100 per cent to Daniel I’m afraid.”
“In a way you can say don’t roll backwards, jam your foot on the brakes – he had to let it roll backwards and get out the way.”
With one more race left in the season, and Ricciardo not having a team lined-up after announcing he would depart McLaren, many were left wondering what the Australian's future looks like in F1.
Safety car on opening lap as Ricciardo and Magnussen are both out#BrazilianGP
— Nihit (@nihitsachdeva28) November 13, 2022
daniel ricciardo has only 1 race remaining in his f1 career now.
— vee³ 🏁 (@uuuulkenberg) November 13, 2022
Brazil Grand Prix wreaks havoc
In a lively race with two safety-car periods, honorary Brazilian Hamilton overcame an early collision with Red Bull's double world champion Max Verstappen to race back in front of a cheering crowd.
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.
Race stewards decided the Red Bull driver was the offending party and handed him a five-second penalty for causing the collision.
"Where did they expect me to go?" Verstappen said when informed by his team over the radio. "He just closed the door on me."Ferrari's Carlos Sainz finished third, with teammate Charles Leclerc fourth and unhappy Ferrari did not order a switch given his battle with Red Bull's Sergio Perez for second in the championship.
Verstappen, who won his second title with four races to spare, helped Leclerc out by refusing to give back sixth place to Perez - who had earlier let him through - despite the team asking him to if he could not pass Alpine's Fernando Alonso.
"I have given you my reasons," the Dutch driver said by way of explanation.
But the race belonged to Russell who admitted he was emotional after his maiden podium-topping effort.
"This is just the beginning," Russell shouted over the team radio after being told he was a Formula One winner, the 113th in the history of the sport.
"I knew we could do this. I might need some tissues - I'm crying."
Hamilton, winner of a record 103 races and three in Brazil, congratulated his teammate for an "amazing drive".
"He did an amazing qualifying yesterday, so he truly deserves it ... this is an incredible result," the 37-year-old said.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.