He added: “This weekend and maybe next weekend that will be giving us more information in our overall understanding of George’s performances but we know that we race next year with Lewis and Valtteri and where we are in 2021 is all going to depend how our own season in 2022 is going to go, and not by George’s performance on an oval in Bahrain and on a season finale in Abu Dhabi.”
Meanwhile, David Coulthard believes this weekend is a golden opportunity for Russell at Mercedes.
He exclusively told Express Sport: “This is the absolute golden opportunity for George to go out, match Valtteri at the minimum, beat Valtteri and put himself on the map.
“This is a shootout – not the first time he’s had a shootout – his career has been full of those to get to this point.
“Let’s imagine Mercedes are the fastest car again and they will be happy with one-two which is Valtteri on pole, George second but if George outqualifies Valtteri then people are going to sit up and take notice in the way Mika Hakkinen, when he was drafted into McLaren in Estoril, in his very first race outqualified Ayrton Senna.