Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is still struggling to understand its W13 after another low-key display during practice in Australia.
Mercedes was off the pace through the second session at Albert Park, with Hamilton in 13th spot, and Russell only two places further ahead.
Hamilton’s best time during the qualifying simulations on Friday afternoon was 1.5s behind the fastest lap set by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
“Nothing we change on the car makes a difference at the moment,” said Hamilton.
“So that’s the difficult thing: you get in very optimistic, make changes, and then it doesn’t seem to be wanting to improve.
“So we made some changes going to P2, P1 was better, and P2 ended up being a bit harder for me. I don’t know, it’s just a tricky car.”
Hamilton added that “this is the way it is, we just have to drive with it.
“That’s the frustrating thing, you’re trying to push and catch and even when you do a decent lap it’s 1.2s down, so it’s difficult.”
Russell described the bouncing along Albert Park’s revised full throttle section along Lakeside Drive as “probably the most severe I’ve experienced” and echoed Hamilton’s comments.
“I think it something we just have to deal with for the time being, we believe it’s the fastest way around the track but maybe it’s not,” he said.
“We need to keep digging into the data and understand we’ve sort of gone from left, right and centre with the set-up and all have resulted in a similar outcome so we need to try and get on top of things.”