But Shovlin remains convinced that Russell will win an F1 World Championship at some stage and is certain he will form a long-term part of any future success Mercedes enjoys.
“He’s a hugely professional driver who’s working very, very hard,” he said ahead of last month’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
“And he’s one of those that you’d say no doubt he’ll win a championship at some point, providing we can give him a car that’s fit for that job.
“And we’re obviously working very hard to achieve that. But he’s very technical. He adapts well to different conditions. All good drivers get better over time, they’re focused on looking for every opportunity to improve.
“And when he got pole here last year it was a surprise for us, because we didn’t have a good Friday. We did make some changes to the car, but he did a fantastic job in qualifying to get that. So, he’s super focused and no doubt that he’ll be part of much success for the team in the future.”
While Red Bull has romped to victory in all 13 races this year, the order behind the reigning World Champions has consistently swapped around in recent rounds.
Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes have all taken turns to finish runner-up to the RB19 driven by Max Verstappen, who has scooped the last eight race wins available.
Mercedes currently leads the way in the battle to finish second in the Constructors’ Championship, with Shovlin asserting the varying characteristics of different circuits and an intense development race are the main reasons for the evolving pecking order.
“There’ll be track-specific elements,” Shovlin acknowledged. “We look quite good in Barcelona on max downforce… But the fact is, you know, you can’t design your car for every single circuit.
“So, you’re seeing the nature of the corner speed, whether ride is a big factor can come into it. Whether it’s an overheating circuit, or one where it’s tricky to get the tyres to work. Whether the balance is more oversteery, all of those things will change the relative performance.
“And then on top of that, you’ve got a pretty aggressive development race going on and you can see that with the steps that Williams made, [and] that McLaren made. Where people are bringing a lot of performance and the phasing of that is starting to juggle the order a bit.”