Top 10 scores in Hungary, Belgium, Italy and Russia have helped Williams hold a firm grip over eighth place in the constructors’ championship, boasting a fairly comfortable 16-point buffer to its nearest rival Alfa Romeo. 

Williams looks in a strong position to retain P8 with just five races remaining this season and Russell has been taking advantage of the points gap by experimenting with an attacking approach in recent events. 

It paid dividends on the opening lap of last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, as Russell made up six positions at the start despite ultimately lacking the pace to fight for points. 

“I think the pressure’s been lifted off my shoulders for a while now for these first laps and I’m more confident to really attack it and go for it,” Russell explained. “P20 to P14 was a strong start [in Austin].

“In this position now where we are in this championship we’ve got this small buffer that’s allowing me to go out there and really push the limits and I’m quite enjoying it to be honest.

“I’m not a driver who usually makes a huge amount of mistakes, but I’ve wanted to push myself and that’s why we saw an off in FP3, we saw a little off in qualifying at Zandvoort.”

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After enjoying little reward for his efforts and making some uncharacteristic errors along the way, Russell believes his usual, more calculated style is best. 

“I’m just trying to really push the limit just to see if there is more in there in these last few races,” the Briton said. 

“But I think I’ve been sort of reaffirming my global strategy of ‘you don’t need to be driving at 100% to get the most out of the car’ as sometimes you only go slower.”

Russell says the freedom to push and explore the limits without fear of making mistakes has partly come from having his future sorted, with a switch to Mercedes on the cards for 2022. 

“It’s just less pressure,” he said. “I think just the fact we are in a position of relative comfort in the constructors’ championship. 

“And also on a personal level, with everything confirmed for next year, I’m in a very stable position personally and just able to go out there and try new things and don’t be afraid to make some mistakes.

“It’s a similar position to one I found myself in 2019 when I could go out there and just try new things and keep trying to build that toolbox to improve,” he added. 

“Being in that position where I’m not scared to make mistakes is a satisfying position.”