Russell set his sights on scoring his first factors for Williams after qualifying 11th on Saturday, ending simply half a tenth off a Q3 berth.
However the race proved harder as Russell slipped again by way of the order, in the end ending one lap down in 16th place.
Williams entered the 2021 season anticipating large peaks and troughs in its kind as a result of delicate nature of the FW43B’s aerodynamics, with windy situations in Bahrain inflicting it to wrestle.
Russell felt the wind at Portimao on Sunday had uncovered the aero-sensitive nature of the automobile once more, saying it was probably the most he had struggled since 2019 when Williams was adrift of the sector.
“It was positively an unbelievable wrestle for us,” Russell mentioned after the race.
“It was most likely probably the most tough race we’ve had since 2019.
“We all know the strengths and we all know the weaknesses of our automobile. [It’s] extremely delicate aerodynamically. And we noticed in Imola when the situations have been calmer the efficiency was there.
“We noticed yesterday in qualifying, situations calmed down for that Q2 run and the efficiency was there, because it was in FP1, the efficiency was there.
“Then right this moment it was nowhere. And sadly that’s the character of the beast with our automobile in the meanwhile. We’ve had three races now, two of which had been very gusty and really uncovered circuits.
“Fingers crossed we’ll not discuss this complete season.”
Russell was initially capable of maintain on to 11th within the opening phases, solely to start to slip again by way of the sector following the protection automobile restart.
George Russell, Williams FW43B, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
Picture by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Russell doubted that his race would have been any totally different had he not misplaced out to the trio of Daniel Ricciardo, Antonio Giovinazzi and Fernando Alonso on the restart, saying it will have “made no distinction” to his race.
“We’d have dropped again regardless,” Russell mentioned.
“That’s the nature when the automobile is so delicate aerodynamically. It offers no confidence to myself or Nicholas [Latifi] to assault on these first laps, we’re continually on the again foot battling from behind.
“It was a race of survival, conserving the automobile on the monitor versus truly racing. And that was, as I mentioned, one of many hardest races we’ve ever executed.
“It was an actual disgrace as a result of the automobile simply had potential. Have we simply been unfortunate? I don’t know. Will this the story of the season? Maybe not, as a result of we now have been now at two race tracks that have been very gusty, very windy.
“Everybody up and down the pit lane is speaking about it, and Bahrain and Portimao are very uncovered. So let’s simply see because the season progresses.
“It’s clear there’s tempo within the automobile. However this automobile must be aligned for us, or else we’re simply going to be nowhere actually, as we have been right this moment.”