George Russell is planning to conduct a number of on-track experiments throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend in a bid to unlock “more potential” from Williams’ 2019 Formula 1 car. 

Williams has endured a tough start to the year after delays to its uncompetitive FW42 forced the team to miss the opening two days of pre-season testing and left it on the back foot. 

At the season-opener in Melbourne, Russell led home teammate Robert Kubica in 16th place and over two laps down as the final two runners in the grand prix, before conceding a “fundamental” issue could keep Williams pegged to the back of the grid for a number of months. 

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The 21-year-old British rookie says he will make the most of Williams being so far adrift of its rivals to “try things” this weekend in Bahrain in an attempt to maximise the team’s latest F1 challenger.

“I think what I can learn is that I can go out there and I can personally try things and it’s not really going to make a huge difference,” Russell explained. 

“I can push the car in different ways and if I compromise a set of tyres because I’ve made a big mistake, obviously it’s not ideal, but at the end of the day it’s not going to make a drastic difference to our overall result. 

“It’s the same with the engineers, I’ve told them quite clearly ‘let’s try things’ because we have got this opportunity to do that. 

“We can really maximise everything now so that when we do have the right car we should more on top of it compared to the others. 

“I think you can be quite in your bubble to not try things because you feel like you have to maximise it, but for all you know there might be more potential there.”

Asked exactly what he is planning to try out, Russell replied: “Even just driving style. 

“I think everyone spends P1 and P2 in the longer stints and quite often you will just try and maximise that and do the best possible. 

“But as we are under the radar, we can go out and try things. We can maybe try and work the tyres in a different window, I can drive in a different way and maybe we find something that works. 

“It just takes the pressure away that we’ve got the opportunity to try things and have no penalty for it.”

Russell, who graduated to F1 having won the Formula 2 title last season, insisted he is not struggling to find motivation despite Williams’ struggles. 

“There are thousands and thousands of drivers who would love to be in F1 and I am one of those - there’s no motivation needed,” he explained. 

“I am in F1 and this is what I have dreamt about for all of my life but now my job is to really maximise with the team what we have got and really direct them in the right way.”

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