Russell starred once again in qualifying at the Sochi Autodrom with an inspired decision to fit slick tyres when the track was still very damp in qualifying, allowing him to qualify third behind Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.

The Mercedes-bound driver maintained third at the start but an early stop for hards lost him track position. 

Russell finished the race in tenth to score points for the fourth time in five races.

“I don’t think we could have expected much more to be honest, we know the pace of the car, if we pitted early, if we pitted late, everyone else would have found a way around us,” Russell said. “The likes of Mercedes are two seconds a lap faster than us, and everyone else probably a second a lap faster, so to keep them behind was very tricky. 

“The final few laps in the wet were really not good, really struggled, but I think it was contributing to the fact we had used inters, we went through all our sets of inters in quali so they were like already like a slick before putting them on, so just had no grip out there, lost 2 positions, so p8 the maximum today, but we’ll take P10.”

Russell admits it wasn’t realistic to expect to have finished higher than tenth.

“Yeah for sure, the performance on the slicks was really good all around from the team, from within the car I felt happy and confident,” Russell added. “I don’t think the race could have gone much better, we could have dreamt of an amazing result but that was not realistic, and we probably finished where we deserved to.”