Duel with Verstappen
After a strong start Russell suddenly found himself in third position during the Spanish GP. With Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz behind him it was a great position for the Brit, who managed to hold on to it. When Max Verstappen drove into the gravel and Leclerc's engine failed, Russell was even in first place for a while.
For this he had to keep a frustrated Verstappen behind him. The Dutchman struggled for laps with a failing DRS so he could not pass to take the lead. This caused several duels between the two drivers, who have not often met in a direct battle.
''I think Max and I first raced each other back in 2011,'' Russell looked back at the press conference on the karting years where the two were in action together. From 2011 to 2013, the two raced against each other in European and world championships, but it was often Verstappen who emerged victorious. Just like in the 2022 Spanish GP.
''it was nice to have the opportunity to fight with him. I'm here to win, I'm here to fight and I obviously wasn't going to make it easy.I felt bad for him, because he obviously had the DRS issues and he was clearly the faster man today. I think it was hard, fair racing. And that's what we would like to see, and expect, in Formula 1.''
Russell and Verstappen also talked about their duel at the press conference together. They were both happy that the stewards had not intervened. For example, Russell might not have given Verstappen a car width in the duel, but the Red Bull driver had little problem with this afterwards.