George Russell conceded that Lewis Hamilton put in an “amazing” performance to pip him to second place at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Mercedes’ Russell was unable to convert a first F1 pole position into his debut victory, but still managed to secure a fifth podium of the season.
After the second round of pit-stops, Russell was running in second place after managing to pass Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
However, a strong recovery drive from Hamilton – who started the race from seventh – resulted in the seven-time World Champion passing Russell in the final stages of the race.
Speaking after the event, Russell congratulated Hamilton on his drive to the podium and praised the impressive team result.
“Lewis did an amazing job, and obviously had far superior pace at the end because I think he had a very strong middle stint,” Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“I think as a team, we’ve got a lot to be proud of. We did everything right, for both of us today, to give us as a team the best opportunity to fight for victory.
“Unfortunately it didn’t go our way today, but as a team we did everything right.”
Russell reflects on hopes of victory
Russell gave himself the best opportunity of a first F1 win by maintaining the lead at the start of the race, with the threat of rain looming.
However, the Briton was powerless to respond to the undercut from eventual race-winner Max Verstappen.
Russell was asked if he had thoughts of a debut victory being on the cards after his strong start.
“Yeah, definitely. It was always going to be tricky afternoon because there was rain in the air throughout, and usually if you’re in pole position it’s spitting, you’re pretty disappointed,” added Russell.
“But I was on the Soft tyre, so I was kind of rubbing my hands together and made a really good start.
“The first four laps were really strong, I think we got a three second gap to Carlos [Sainz], and then unfortunately, the rain sort of stopped.
“The Medium tyres came into their own, but we still had a good first stint, and we pitted early both occasions to try and cover Max, and cover the Ferraris.
“Ultimately, Max was too fast for us today.”