Haas and Williams are again vying for F1's wooden spoon in the constructors' table after failing to score a point in the seven grands prix so far.
Russell's 12th-place finish at the Paul Ricard Circuit allowed Williams to dump Haas back to the foot of the standings after Mick Schumacher's 13th-place in Azerbaijan had given the American team the edge.
Steiner feels Russell's achievement in finishing ahead of Charles Leclerc who limped home a wretched 16th has given him cause for optimism that Mick Schumacher or Nikita Mazepin could achieve something similar for Haas.
"I would say it was a little bit of an odd race in the midfield and George did a good job," said Steiner. "To put himself in the position to finish 12th and to overtake us in the championship.
"But if you take the good thing out, who would have thought two weeks ago that Williams can finish 12th in front of a Ferrari, in front of two Alfa Romeos and so on.
"I don't see any point that we shouldn't think we can do that as well."
Schumacher Q2-winning pace a sign of promise for Haas
Since the start of the season, Schumacher has been determined to reach the second phase of qualifying, stating this ambition in numerous media sessions.
But in a car that has not been developed since January 1, the German achieved the feat in France, although took no part in the session after crashing at the end of Q1.
Despite that, an enthused Steiner added: "Everybody was surprised how it ended but even on that lap he was going strong.
"A lot of people came to me and said 'Wow! Where did this come from?' because compared to the other ones, it was a good lap.
"It gives me the belief it can be done if you put a lot of effort in and George is now in the third year in this situation and he keeps on pushing.
"That means that determination is worth something so I respect what they did because it was done under circumstances where there were not 10 cars retiring, everyone got to the finish.
"But as well, it gives me encouragement for me to tell my guys everything is possible."
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