George Russell has admitted he is in the dark over his Mercedes future due to the uncertainty over Sir Lewis Hamilton’s contract with the team.
The 22-year-old prodigy who is contracted to Williams, caught global attention when he stepped in for the seven-time world champion at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
After Hamilton was ruled out with coronavirus, Russell was drafted in as an understudy and put in an eye-catching performance to finish ninth, having led the field for much of the race.
Following the impressive display there has been much speculation over Russell’s future with even discussion that he could replace Hamilton permanently long-term.
Russell, however, has revealed he is not sure what the future holds and is focused solely on driving for Williams this year.
“No, they’ve not said what I need to do,” he told motorsport.com .
“At the moment I’m just respectful to everyone at Williams and I will just be giving my absolute all for that team, as they have done for me for the last two years.”
“I don’t like to think about the future. This sport changes incredibly quickly, people’s perception of drivers – your reputation, and outside factors, as we’ve seen.”
Russell was close to securing a famous victory in Sakhir but pit issues with Mercedes saw his tumble down the grid.
After Russell and team-mate Bottas pitted at the same time, the Brit’s car was incorrectly fitted with his fellow Mercedes driver’s tyres by mistake and was forced to pit again on the next lap.
Rather than dwell on the disappointment, Russell has taken it in his stride and vowed to use it as a learning experience.
“It's not eating me up inside, because I see the race almost was a victory in itself with how everything panned out,” he added.
“I think the pitstop fiasco almost gave me that opportunity to go out there and sort of show what I can do in a very difficult circumstance - when the pressure is high."
Having seen his contract expire at the end of the season, Hamilton, 36, is currently a free agent with a much discussed new deal as yet unsigned.
With the new season set to begin in March, the two parties are still in discussions although talks are thought to be positive.