Drivers struggled for grip throughout Friday practice, with lap times slower than the pole position time set by Sebastian Vettel the last time Formula 1 visited Istanbul Park in 2011.
Russell suggested the difference between his first and second practice performances point to there being a potential chasm between the different cars during the weekend.
"I have never experienced a day like this in a race car before," he said. "It is going to be a massive window of opportunity this weekend if anybody can get it right.
"In FP1 I was 15 seconds off the pace and that was actually true, we just couldn't get the tyres working and I was 15 seconds off.
"We got the tyres working in FP2 and the car was feeling great and our high-fuel pace was really strong so it is a shame we are starting at the back.
"But as I say, I think there is a glimmer of optimism because if we get it right, there is going to be seconds between cars.
"It might be interesting for tv but it is going to be chaos from within. I hope the track ramps in a bit and gets a bit faster and more grippy because like I say it was not fun whatsoever out there.
"It may have looked fun slipping and sliding around but I promise you from within, it was just a pain in the backside."
Rain is expected at times across the weekend, leading to fears the grip levels could fall even further, however, Russell has dismissed such worries and even claimed the track could get faster if there are showers.
"Bizarrely, there could be even more grip if it rains compared to what it would normally be like in the dry," explained Russell, who will start at the back of the grid after taking his fourth engine, turbocharger and MGU-H this season.
"We are still 10 seconds off our projected lap time that we were planning to be doing. This morning, in practice, I felt like if it was wet I would probably be quicker than the laps I was doing in the dry.
"When you have a new surface, they always react bizarrely. No one has ever run around this track on the new surface. I can tell why."
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