Russell will still have deal with his below par W14 this weekend in Melbourne, as his team continue to prepare the highly anticipated update Mercedes plan to unleash at Imola in May.
The Briton finished seventh in Bahrain’s season opener, and fourth in Saudi Arabia, and when asked about his chances in Melbourne this weekend, he said: “If we manage to get another P4, or fight for the podium, that will probably be exceeding the potential of the car.
“I think Aston are going to be really strong here,” he claimed. “They seem to be the quickest car in the medium-speed corners, which obviously there’s plenty of them here in Melbourne, so if we can fight with Aston and Ferrari again, that’d be a good weekend.”
Back in Jeddah, Russell’s teammate, seven-time Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton stirred the pot claiming his choice of setup hurts his chances which mean he got beaten by his younger teammate, putting it down to a 50:50 chance in the choice of setup.
Nothing down to luck
Hamilton told Sky Sports at the time: “The strategy didn’t really work out for me. The set-up was a bit off – I think if I had the set-up that George had, I would have been in a better position.
“There was like a 50:50 choice. I chose one way, he chose another. More often than not, the way he went was the wrong one, but it just happened to work, so I could only match his pace rather than be quicker.”
However Russell disagreed with his decorated teammate’s assessment, insisting nothing was down to luck, rather hard work and analysis with his engineers.
“I don’t think there’s any luck in it at all,” he told the media in Melbourne. “I think it’s down to the preparation you put in before the event.
“The changes we made overnight [after practice], I knew that was going to be the right direction with the work we did with the team, and I believed it was going to be better than the set-up that Lewis opted for.
“I think everybody’s got different preferences. I was happy with the direction I took and the work I’m doing with the engineers,” the one-time grand prix winner concluded.