Vettel and Russell both started from the back of the grid at the Circuit of the Americas after receiving penalties for power unit changes ahead of the weekend.
During the race, the two battled side-by-side with the four-time world champion eventually making his way past around the outside of the sweeping right-hand complex of turns 16, 17 and 18.
"I like racing George," said Vettel. "It is not the first time this year [we have battled] but he seems to be aware of where his car is.
"He is always fair and obviously, sometimes he has the upper hand, sometimes I have the upper hand. I enjoyed that."
Vettel extended his pit window to ensure he could complete a switch to fresher tyres at the end of the race, a move that saw him ultimately end his four-race scoreless streak by finishing 10th.
"We obviously stayed out a lot longer in the first stint and wanted to have the tyre advantage at the end and it seemed to work," he explained.
"Maybe a couple of laps more we could have attacked Yuki [Tsunoda] but it was a good recovery from where we started.
"We did a little bit more race prep on Friday but I don't think that made a difference. It was a tough race for everyone managing tyres and I think that helped us a little bit."
Bumps are "ok" for F1 - Vettel
A major talking point ahead of the weekend was the bumps that characterise the Texas circuit after complaints from MotoGP riders at the start of the month.
F1 had to smooth the surface over in 2019 due to excessive bumps and asked if the surface was better now than two years ago, Vettel replied: "Personally, I don't remember that much from last time.
"I think there were places that were worse last time and some places that were better and got worse now. I don't know what the plan is going forward, I think it is probably more relevant for the bike guys, for the riders. For us, it is ok like it is."
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