Mercedes' W14 proved problematic over the course of the season, delivering rollercoaster results, leading to Russell scoring only his second podium of the campaign in the final race in Abu Dhabi where he was third.
Mercedes recognised early on the car was not good enough to compete, but were unable to make the fundamental changes needed due to being constrained by the budget cap.
It means the W15 will be a considerably different car compared to its predecessor, one that Russell would like to believe can push Max Verstappen and Red Bull more to their limit than has been the case over the past two years of their dominance.
“We're taking a clean slate into next year's car,” said Russell, who finished ninth and a staggering 400 points behind Verstappen in the drivers' standings.
“The positive is we're not scratching our heads as to why we're so far behind Red Bull. We see so many flaws with this car.
“That gives every single person back at the factory so much motivation and fire to chase after those problems and find those solutions, which we think will make a good step into next year.
Russell at least conceded to feeling “really pleased” to finish “a really challenging season” on a high with his podium in Abu Dhabi.
On the personal side, he felt the year was so difficult primarily because of “not getting the results we probably deserve”, although he added that he had also “let the side down a couple of times this year”.
“The pace has been really strong on so many occasions, but just results kept on slipping through our fingers,” added Russell.
That was almost the case in Abu Dhabi where Sergio Perez was just over a second away from pushing Russell off the podium after incurring a five-second penalty for causing a collision with McLaren's Lando Norris.
“Lady luck was maybe on our side slightly with Checo's penalty,” said Russell. “But I think that more than made up for the other races this year.”
The third place for Russell was even more satisfying after suffering physically through the race as he could be heard coughing on occasions.
The Briton said he had been “really ill” beforehand, initially with a fever over the Las Vegas GP weekend in which he “couldn't sleep and just felt awful”.
He added: “And then I've had a horrendous cough that stayed with me all week and in the car. I was coughing every single lap but when you're strapped into the car, you can't breathe. You can't take a deep breath in to get the cough out.
“It was just constantly with me. It was pretty, pretty miserable. So I was pleased to bring it home when I saw that chequered flag.”