The British driver ended the extra consultant second apply session on the Marina Bay circuit on Friday third quickest behind the pace-setting Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
He mentioned that, whereas issues regarded very shut between a lot of groups and extra was wanted for qualifying, it had been a massively encouraging run for Mercedes.
“It is positively most likely our greatest Friday of the yr to this point,” defined Russell. “However it’s positively actually shut between most likely 5 groups in the mean time, which is fairly thrilling.
“So we must work exhausting in a single day, and try to acquire these final milliseconds forward of tomorrow.”
Whereas it was a shock for a lot of to see Ferrari on the entrance on the high-downforce Singapore observe, Russell suspected that the squad couldn’t solely keep that kind into Saturday however may truly go faster primarily based on GPS evaluation of what engine modes it was operating.
“Ferrari are wanting favourites in the mean time and I do not assume they have been most [with their] energy unit as effectively,” added Russell. “They’ve most likely received a pair extra tenths within the pocket.
“The battle might be for the second row. However we by no means know what is going on to occur.
“The tyres are going to be key: when we’ve got the C5, the softest compound, simply getting it within the candy spot you’ll find tenths of a second so simply.
“So we simply want to search out that candy spot, attempt to nail each single lap and discover ourselves in place.”
Russell’s optimism in regards to the day was shared by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who concurred it had been probably the most encouraging Friday of the yr after he ended FP2 in fifth spot.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“FP1 was stable,” he mentioned. “We have been nonetheless a bit of bit off the place we wished to be, but it surely wasn’t too dangerous. FP2 was for certain one of the best FP2 session I’ve had this yr.
“It was good to complete a Friday feeling so Positive. I feel we have platform to construct off for the remainder of the weekend. It is one of the best I’ve felt from a Friday this yr, so I hope we will do some good work in a single day, as we all the time are likely to do, and proceed to enhance.”
Russell’s remarks about Ferrari’s velocity being real have been echoed by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard, who ended up fourth in FP2, thinks the Maranello group are clearly forward – as he additionally anticipated a greater Saturday for the struggling Purple Bull group.
“I feel Ferrari might be out of attain once more,” defined Alonso. “Like Monza, they’re a bit of bit too quick.
“Purple Bull will likely be quick tomorrow when it counts, so yeah, it’s extremely tight. You will be P5 or P6, otherwise you will be out of Q3 as a result of inside two tenths there are a whole lot of vehicles. It is going to be tight. We have now to be prepared for something and nail the lap in Q2 and Q3.”
Extra reporting by Adam Cooper