Russell stood in for Sir Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes that weekend, and after qualifying in P2, he took the lead of the grand prix and was in an excellent position to win it prior to the pit crew making a costly error and his car later suffering a slow puncture.
He finished the race in ninth position to score his first points in Formula 1, but he was gutted to have missed out on victory.
Speaking this week, Russell said he has left the disappointment of this race in the past.
He made the remarks when speaking about Formula E driver Nyck De Vries and how his dominance in karting may have worked against him once he began racing in single-seaters and experienced setbacks.
“We were friends then. In 2011 he was my best friend in the paddock. He raced in KF1, I in KF3 and he dominated absolutely everything,” Russell said in an interview with RacingNews365.
“His sheer dominance in his karting career may have hurt him a little when he got into the single seaters. Because he had never seen any setbacks before in his career.
“He definitely has the speed to be a great driver in my opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets into Formula 1 in the next few years.
“He’s proven himself in Formula E, he’s always there fighting for that world title and he really is a great driver,” he added.
Continuing, Russell gave the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix as examples of hardship making him stronger.
“Everything goes well in life sometimes, but when you get to the top you always have to deal with big disappointments,” Russell said.
“If you don’t know how to deal with that, it will eat you up and then it affects your performance.
“Remember my race in Imola last year. When I crashed behind the safety car, but also think of the two tough years I had in my junior career, 2013 and 2015.
“Those moments helped me in my further development. The race for Mercedes in Bahrain last year was also a bitter pill to swallow, but I have now left it in the past.”