However, owing to his five-second time penalty, the Mexican was demoted post-race and Russell still finished in P3, ensuring Mercedes managed to cling on to their title position by just three points, 409 to 406.
Speaking after the race, Vasseur praised Leclerc's tactical thinking in the closing stages of the race before jokingly pointing the finger at Mercedes.
"It was a great race from Charles. He did what he could. He even let Perez pass to make the gap of 5 seconds on Russell," Vasseur said.
"Well, for once Mercedes won't be complaining about the steward’s decision.
"I don't even know what happened with Perez, I didn't watch. We shouldn't be disappointed on our side, Charles did the job. It's one of the first times we've had a fight with Red Bull, so we'll have to keep it up for next year.
"Leclerc would have liked to have slowed Russell down even more, but he had to aim right, I'm happy for him, he's moving up in the rankings. It's important for 2024.
"The momentum has been good over the last 2-3 races. We're not losing anything today. It’s more in the middle of the season that we've missed opportunities.
"I'd rather be third and finish on a positive note than finish second and be nowhere. That's for Mercedes."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.