Russell made his life harder in Sunday race with a mistake at the last corner of his final run in Q2, an error that left him only 13th on the grid when he had the pace to make the top 10.
He then lost two places in the early laps of the damp race and ran in 15th for the rest of the afternoon, unable to make any progress.
Russell admitted he found it hard to get on top of tyre management on a track that stayed wet throughout the race.
“It’s incredibly difficult when you have to manage the tyres so much,” he said when asked by Autosport. “Incredibly tricky to know how hard to push, especially when it’s wearing down to a slick and it’s just not drying.
“The track wasn’t drying, and even if it wasn’t raining it would probably have been wet for hours to come. That was a big challenge, so I don’t think we did a great job, we didn’t do a bad job. It was not easy.”
George Russell, Williams FW43B
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Russell found life tricky on both worn and fresh intermediates.
“If you push too much the wear of the tyre increases, and then when you get to wetter parts of the track, you just don’t have any grip.
“We came back out, when we put the new tyres on, and they didn’t really seem to switch on either, because the tread’s so much more and then the dry parts of the track, they weren’t suitable either.
“So it was a real threading the needle. As I said, it’s been twice now we’ve been in these conditions, and we’ve struggled both times.
“We normally excel when it’s either wetter conditions or slicks in damp conditions. So this intermediate phase we need to have a bit of a think about.”
Russell admitted that the positions lost due to his qualifying mistake didn’t help, but he admitted that even had he started higher up he may have lacked the speed required to hang onto a good result.
“It potentially could have been different, but generally the overall pace wasn’t really there. We struggled last year in these conditions. It’s not wet, it’s not dry, you’re sort of in no man’s land.
“And when you’re having to manage the tyres… Turn 8 is the difficult one because it was relatively dry, how hard do you push? I was trying to vary a load of different things, and to be honest, nothing really seemed to work. So a difficult afternoon.”