It was also Mercedes’ first GP win of an otherwise disappointing season with Hamilton making it an impressive 1-2 for the team in a statement of intent for next season.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. completed the podium at Interlagos.
The 24-year-old Russell dominated the race in Sao Paulo from the start, which had him in pole position on the grid. He had seven podium finishes before Sunday’s victory.
Hamilton, who started second, had dropped to eighth after his car made contact with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull on the seventh lap. The Dutchman was given a five-second penalty and finished in sixth place.
Verstappen and his Red Bull team have already been crowned F1 champions.
The Brazilian GP was the penultimate race of the season ahead of Abu Dhabi on Nov. 20.