Mercedes' George Russell explains mistaking sweat for rain at Spanish Grand Prix

MONTMELO, Spain -- George Russell said he confused beads of sweat on the inside of his visor for rain falling during the Spanish Grand Prix, adding that it led to false hope that wet weather might mix up the order.

Russell raced from 12th on the grid to third at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya and was running sixth when on lap 27 when he reported rain over the radio at Turn 5.

A lap later he clarified the communication, saying: "Is anyone else reporting rain? I think it's sweat from the inside of my helmet."

After the race, Russell explained the confusion.

"At the start of the race I knew my hair wasn't in my balaclava, so my hair was dangling out which was, firstly, quite annoying," he said. "The next thing I started to brake and I saw the raindrops on my visor but I soon learned it was a bead of sweat dropping down on my head through my hair and when I braked it was flicking on to the visor.

"So I got a little bit excited [that it was raining] at one point but you're not always right I guess! It was really annoying because I was sweating throughout the whole race and obviously it was getting on the inside of the visor so I couldn't wipe it.

"But no, I had it all under control and I'm really happy with the progress we've made. We've still got more work to do. We've made a good step forward but our sights are on victory and we've got work to do to catch up Max [Verstappen]."

Russell was not expecting to finish on the podium ahead of the race and praised his team for the strategy and the progress it has made since a major car upgrade at the last race in Monaco.

"After yesterday, we knew it was going to be a challenge, but woke up with a bit more positivity, and I thought that we could definitely move forward, probably fight for P5, P6," Russell said, "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. It was a really satisfying race, making some good moves on the people around me.

"Huge thanks to the whole team for bringing these updates forward. But equally, we're not going to get carried away just after this one race. We know it might be slightly different in the future races, and I think generally Ferrari and Aston were a little bit more off the pace than normal."