The British driver was running 10th up until the final three laps, holding off the two-time F1 champion for as long as possible before finally being forced to yield and surrender what would have been his first point as a Williams driver.
After qualifying eighth, Russell initially fell outside the points positions early on before climbing back through the order courtesy of starting on medium tyres after his stellar qualifying performance.
"So close yet so far," said Russell as his agonising wait to finally end his points drought with Williams continues.
"I didn't make the best start to be fair. Got off the line well but then [Yuki] Tsunoda locked up and cut in front of me to avoid crashing into his team-mate.
"I had to get onto the brakes and a couple of cars overtook me. That didn't change the outcome of our race because there were faster cars and were always going to finish ahead."
With Alpine driver Alonso charging to the back of the Williams, Russell explained: "I was driving as hard and as fast as I could.
"In the end, if you could choose any driver to have behind, you probably wouldn't choose Fernando.
"I was hoping [he would let me have it]. It was very tricky with all of his experience.
"His speed as well, in qualifying he was really fast and he should have finished inside the top five. I had to keep him behind but his speed this weekend, it would probably have never happened."
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