Mercedes endured a tricky opening day of running at Silverstone which resulted in Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton finishing outside the top-10 in both practice sessions as they struggled for one-lap pace. 

How the fight for 2nd in the F1 Constructors Championship is heating up

But come qualifying on Saturday, Russell narrowly out-paced Hamilton to secure sixth on the grid, though Mercedes were still out-qualified by both McLarens and both Ferraris. 

"Our numbers suggested we were 17th and 18th yesterday in Qualifying, then third and fourth in the race. Clearly we made some improvements,” Russell told Sky. 

"I was gutted to see we were half a tenth from P3, which would have been incredible. My lap felt great. I don't think there was much in there.”

“Lewis has been really on it this weekend and pushing me hard. Well done to McLaren, they came from nowhere and are the big unknown for tomorrow.”

Asked what he thinks is possible for Sunday’s grand prix, Russell replied: "We always tend to have a better Sunday that Saturday. 

“It's an interesting grid - Fernando and Checo are out of position. Let's see what we can do. But McLaren seem really quick here.”