Piastri was on course for his maiden F1 podium finish at Silverstone until a mid-race Safety Car was deployed.

This allowed Hamilton, who had yet to pit, to stop under the Safety Car and lose less time through the pit lane.

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Hamilton rejoined ahead of Piastri, with the pair remaining third and fourth until the end of the race.

Speaking to Sky after the race, Russell said: “The McLarens were impressive, they drove a great race.

“I feel bad for Oscar. He was driving really well, I’ve been super impressed by what he has achieved this year. He was the deserving podium finisher.”

Russell also lost out to teammate Hamilton through the Safety Car phase.

“Unfortunately the Safety Car timing hindered him, and hindered myself,” he added. “It was a relatively good weekend for us. Our pace compared to Ferrari, Aston and Red Bull was probably better than what we thought. But the McLarens came from nowhere.”

Given McLaren’s surprising pace, Russell conceded there will be a lot of “head scratching” at Mercedes.

“It does [give us hope]. But you need to know where to look,” he concluded. “I believe we know where we’re looking and what we’re chasing. 

“I hope it’s a one-off. But they were quick in Austria too. I thought their strategy was wrong - going on the hards - the softs was such a great tyre. They would have been further ahead with the softs. Interesting… head scratching right now.”