Practice sessions give the teams and drivers valuable time to optimise strategies and set-ups with a view to qualifying and the race, something which was a premium at the two-day weekend at Imola.
Russell explained that with a night race such as Bahrain, the weekend is effectively reduced to a single practice session due to the unrepresentative track conditions in the day compared to the night running in FP2, qualifying and the race.
"The facts are you cannot really [set up the car in first and final practice]," he added.
"You have to do some testing in FP1 and FP3 but take your results with a pinch of salt. FP2 is really our only proper session.
"So there is so much emphasis on that session and if there are any issues or any problems then you are definitely on the back foot.
"That's what makes racing in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi unique. Even though we still have three sessions, realistically it is only the one so it is tricky. It is making sure you are on the right foot from the off."
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