Fernando Alonso admitted he was said that his battle for 10th saw him demote George Russell out of the running for his first points this season.
Russell drove an impeccable race on Sunday in Austria, making the most of the Williams car, but ultimately came away empty-handed and heads to Round 10 with no points to show for his hard work.
Speaking after the Grand Prix on Sunday, Alonso admitted; “I felt a little bit sad for George because he drove an amazing weekend.
“When I saw P10 was him, I was hoping it was anyone apart from him in that spot.”
The 39-year-old driver went on to list the benefits he had on Russell, making the overtake an unavoidable fate this time out.
“I had much better tyres, much better traction out of Turn Three and I could make the move three laps to the end.”
“He will have more opportunities for podiums and wins in the future,” Alonso then said.
Following the race, Russell had said he knew he had no chance of holding off the speed of the Alpine car as well as the skill of the man driving.
He said; “It was very tricky… with all of his experience, and speed as well.
“Yesterday [in qualifying] he was very very fast and he should have finished inside the top five.
“Trying to keep him behind, and with his speed this weekend, it probably never would have happened.”
Breaking down his race, the 23-year-old explained;
“I got off the line well at the start, but then Tsunoda had quite a big lock-up and cut in front of me to avoid going into his teammate, so I had to get on the brakes and lost a couple of places.
“That didn’t really change the outcome of our race as there were faster cars that were always going to finish ahead of us.
“That P10 point would feel like a race victory for us, so I was fighting with everything I had. Of all the drivers to have behind you in this situation, Fernando wouldn’t be who you’d choose; he was flying and holding him off just wasn’t possible on my tyres.
“We’re all disappointed to miss out by such a small margin, but we’re making real progress and we’ll take the positives on to Silverstone.”