"Obviously, we’ve only been to Barcelona so far, but it [the FW43] was really pleasant to drive, so I think for me, and for Nicholas [Latifi, team-mate] as well, it’s going to give us more confidence, and hopefully just bring that extra bit of performance."
While warning that the cooler temperatures of pre-season testing make it difficult to read too much into the performance figures, Russell insists the team is moving in the right direction.
He added: "We built the foundations last year, and we’re continuing that into this year. Rome isn't built in a day, and these things just take time.
"We are making progress. It’s very difficult when you come from so far behind the rest of the pack, but I think we’ll judge our performance based on the others, seeing how we hopefully have closed the gap to P9 in the constructors and the rest of the midfield and go from there."
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