George Russell has explained the moment he knew that he would score a podium during the Spanish Grand Prix after starting from 12th on the grid.
The Mercedes driver gained a lot of positions at the start of the race at the first corner, after initially getting a good launch and then having to take avoiding action at Turn 1.
The stewards did investigate the Briton but found that he did not gain any advantage from taking to the escape road, something Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes he got away with.
Russell then managed to hold off a late challenge from Sergio Perez, who switched to Soft tyres in an attempt to snatch the podium away from Russell. But the Mercedes driver covered off any late challenge thanks to strong tyre management throughout the race.
When asked when he believed he could mount a challenge for the podium places, Russell told media: "I think quite early on, to be honest.
"Even after that first stint I believed it was possible when I saw the other cars peeling into the pits. My tyres were feeling good; the car was feeling good.
"So I think even after two laps I thought, ‘you know what, we can do this today’."
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Russell initially thought podiums was 'out of reach'
Russell admits that he thought a podium would be 'out of reach' starting from outside the top ten, but with both Ferrari and Aston Martin off the pace it enabled Mercedes to take advantage.
"After qualifying we knew it was going to be a challenge, but woke up with a bit more positivity and I thought we could definitely move forward, probably fight for P5, P6.
"I thought P3 would be a little bit out of reach – but the car was really, really great today; the team did a great job with the strategy and it was a really satisfying race, making some good moves on the people around me.
"I think generally Aston and Ferrari were a little bit more off the pace than normal."