George Russell says falling tyre temperatures throughout the Hungarian Grand Prix contributed to him dropping from first to third by the chequered flag.
Having taken a surprise first-ever pole position in Saturday's qualifying, Russell kept his lead in the early stages of the race before being overtaken by Charles Leclerc on Lap 31 of 70.
The Briton also lost a place to an undercut from eventual winner Max Verstappen on Lap 40, before teammate Lewis Hamilton passed him on much fresher tyres five laps to the end.
Russell did gain a place when Leclerc pitted for a third time, but he said tyre struggles made it impossible for him to fight for victory.
"When it started spitting at the beginning and we were on the Soft tyres, I thought we were on," Russell told Sky Sports F1.
"We made a really strong start, it was a good first stint, and then towards the end, on the Mediums with the rain coming down, [I] really struggled and lost a bit of temperature.
"But again, amazing job by the team – pole position yesterday, double podium [today].
"We're definitely making progress, so [I'm] really proud of the work everybody's done."
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Russell to look at potential improvements
Having failed to convert his maiden pole into a first Grand Prix win, Russell was in reflective mood after the race.
"I'm sure there's a lot I'll look over and [think I] could have done better," said Russell.
"It was challenging to manage the tyres – obviously we pitted quite early on both stints.
"You're trying to eke the tyre out until the end, but trying to push as fast as possible at the same time, so [it's] a bit of a challenging position to be in, but nevertheless, [I'm] pleased to have come away with a podium."
Amid a hectic debut season at Mercedes, Russell added that he was looking forward to recharging his batteries during F1's upcoming summer break.
"It's been an incredibly intense start to the season, and I think the break will do everybody good," said Russell.
"[We'll] come back for the second half the season, reset, refocus, and try and fight for some victories."
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