The incident occurred during SQ1 ahead of the United States Grand Prix sprint as Leclerc navigated a flying lap around the Circuit of the Americas.
As the Monegasque driver made his way through the final sector of the lap he was impeded by Mercedes driver Russell, who was driving slowly on the racing line.
This ruined Leclerc’s lap with the 26-year-old left unimpressed in the cockpit. He took to the radio to state: “And penalty for Mr Russell, thank you.”
This wasn’t the end of the disappointment for Russell though as he was placed under investigation after the first part of the sprint shootout for driving too slowly on his out-lap.
The United States GP weekend has been messy from the beginning for Russell who was delighted to even manage a P5 finish in qualifying on Friday after struggling with the balance of his Mercedes machinery.
Discussing his start to the proceedings in Austin on Friday, he said: “For me, it’s been a really challenging day. I’ve been off the pace and I don’t really know why. I’ve been feeling quite good with the update and can feel the improvements.
“A bit of a strange day for me, so I’m actually pretty pleased with P5. At some points, it was looking likely that we weren’t going to get to Q3. I take those positives, try and work on it. Sprint qualifyings tend to go better than the Friday evenings, apart from Qatar.”
Leclerc had plenty more to celebrate on the first day of his weekend, capitalising on a deleted lap time for Max Verstappen to clinch his third pole position of the season after acing qualifying in Baku and Spa earlier in the year.
More importantly, the Ferrari star was finally happy with the balance of the SF-23. He explained: “We started with a strong base thanks to the work the guys had done to prepare for this weekend with the car feeling good straight away.”