Mercedes had cause for celebration with Lewis Hamilton finishing second, and Russell coming third, behind race-winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
But they had to overcome a feisty moment when team principal Wolff needed to intervene via the team radio.
Russell was battling Sergio Perez for third but felt the Red Bull driver had gained an illegal advantage.
Russell implored his team to demand a penalty: “Come on, guys. We need to do something. He went straight on.”
His engineer replied: “George, we were not ahead.”
Russell argued: “Front wheel to rear wheel is the rule. It’s the rule when you’re attacking – I was definitely front wheel to rear wheel.”
Wolff then interrupted and said: “George, keep your head down, you can hunt him down.”
Wolff later explained to Sky why he took action: “As a driver you get so upset with the situation. You feel that what has happened is not right.
“You also don’t see the helicopter view.
“I think he had pace at the time, and could catch him on track.
“So I wanted to re-set him mentally.”
Wolff’s decision paid off when Mercedes ended the F1 French Grand Prix with both drivers on the podium, the first time that has happened in 2022.
Russell later reflected: “Emotions were high for all of us.
“I felt that I had done a mega-move on Checo but didn’t get to keep the position.
“I enjoyed hearing Toto on the radio!
“We’re in this together. When you sit in the car you can feel alone. You don’t know what the engineers look at. The engineers don’t know how we feel in the car.
“Sometimes having these exchanges bring us closer together.”