Russell, who eventually retired from the race with a suspected engine failure, rued the decision and also says that it’s been challenging to engage with the FIA on proposed changes.
“I thought the red flag was totally unnecessary,” he declared. “There was obviously quite a bit of gravel on the track but there was a clear racing line and we’ve seen it far worse in the past.
“It’s reminiscent of the decision last week in Saudi to bring out the Safety Car when the car was totally off the track.
“So I don’t really know what’s going on with some of the decisions at the moment, we’re all trying to work together with the FIA to improve things but it’s seemingly a bit of a challenge.”
Pressed on his thoughts regarding the rule surrounding drivers being able to change their tyres without suffering a loss of position under a red flag, Russell added: “I haven’t really given that too much thought to be honest, I think it goes both ways.”
By minimising the time lost in the pit lane by pitting under the Safety Car, Russell was likely to resume in the lead once his rivals had come in had the race not been stopped.
With the Brit confirming he intended to go to the end on the Hard compound of rubber he switched onto, Russell was irritated to see his shot at a second F1 win taken away.
“Frustration and disappointment, because on a track like this you can’t overtake after the pit stop and I saw Max and Lewis not pitting I was really surprised to be honest,” he explained.
“I came out in P7 on the new hard, they were just ahead, I was thinking the race is ours now and I see no reason why we couldn’t have won the race today, seeing how close Lewis was to Max and the pace we’ve shown the past couple of weekends has been really strong.
“Max would obviously have had to pass Lewis as well, but it could have been our race this weekend.”
Mercedes surprised many – including itself – that it had the pace to be in the fight for pole position on Saturday and the podium with Hamilton in the race.
Despite bitterness that his race ended abruptly, Russell was buoyed by the positive progress the German outfit is making with its capricious W14 package.
“From an overall team perspective for sure,” he responded when asked if the Melbourne weekend was a good step forward for Mercedes.
“I feel like Saudi was probably on par with my best race weekend in F1 with probably Brazil last year, and again this weekend, the same again.
“I feel really comfortable in the car, the team is giving me the right tools, we’re getting the set-up in the right window week-in, week-out and we’re ticking a lot of boxes.
“I feel like there’s nothing really more that we can be doing, it’s obviously frustrating to not see the hard work and the good work transpire into a good result.”