“When the car is so sensitive aerodynamically, it gives no confidence for myself or Nicholas to attack on those first laps," explained Russell.
“We’re constantly on the back foot, battling from behind. The car had potential. Will this be the story of the season? Perhaps not. There is clearly pace in the car but the stars have to be aligned for us or we’re just nowhere.”
The back-of-the-grid team has shown rollercoaster form so far this season, revealing at the start it had taken a design direction that led to high sensitivity with its aerodynamic package.
The gusty winds in the Bahrain test and race, and high winds in Portimão have both highlighted this failure.
Asked which of the upcoming tracks he feels will suit his car best, Russell added: “I honestly couldn’t tell you.
"In FP1 [in Portugal] we were seventh quickest on merit, the car seemed to be working incredibly well, then in FP2 and FP3 we really struggled and then in the race.
“We’re not the only ones to be struggling. Fernando [Alonso] had an exceptional race but he was a second off in qualifying. Daniel [Ricciardo] was really fast on Friday and was nowhere on Saturday.
“These current cars and current tyres seem incredibly sensitive to a lot of different things and they work hand in hand. If the aero’s very sensitive it has a knock-on effect on tyres and you start sliding and you’re on a downwards spiral.
“Equally, if the aero’s working well and you are not having any big moments, the tyres are in a good window and the driver gets confidence, then you are in a good spiral.
“The circuit characteristics we want are medium-higher speed, less low-speed hairpins, more 90-degree corners. Budapest has been a strong one for us, but equally, our car’s looking very strong in a straight line so Monza could be good.”
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