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Russell explains dramatic battle with Perez for podium spot

George Russell was bemused at the decision not to penalise Sergio Perez after their on-track battle at the French Grand Prix.

George Russell has given his version events following a combative battle with Sergio Perez for the final podium position. The Mercedes driver had been following Perez for much of the race, but his main passing opportunity came after the Virtual Safety Car period for Zhou Guanyu's stricken Alfa Romeo. With the race going back to green flag conditions, Russell caught Perez unawares and overtook by getting up to speed quicker than the Red Bull driver. The two drivers were nose-to-tail for the remaining few laps, but Russell kept Perez behind to take the final podium place. "I'm absolutely sweating now. It was a long, tough race," Russell commented. "The pace was strong but we really struggled with that restart and Checo [Perez] was all over me, but I was glad to see that chequered flag."

Russell bemused by lack of stewards' action

Prior to the race-deciding move, Russell had attempted to pass Perez into Turn 8 at the chicane. With Russell taking the inside line, Perez tried to reduce the space for the Mercedes driver, before cutting across the chicane when Russell carried a lot of speed into the corner and used the full width of the track. The stewards took no action, indicating that they classified it as a 'racing incident', but Russell was adamant on team radio that Perez had to concede the position. When asked after the race for his thoughts on the failed overtake at the chicane, Russell suggested that the rules indicated further action would be needed. "I saw him [Perez] struggling when [Carlos] Sainz got past him on his one opportunity," Russell added. "For me, I was down the inside, and the rules are pretty clear; it's from front wheel to rear wheel when you're on the inside. "That's what I had, he didn't really leave me much space, but nevertheless, I carried on, brought it home in P3, and it's two podiums for Mercedes. It's great."

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