George Russell feels his chances of securing a Formula 1 drive for the 2019 season have been impacted by the movement in the driver market over the summer, but remains determined in his bid to get a seat next year.

Formula 2 championship leader Russell is a member of Mercedes' junior programme, leading to links to a possible drive with Force India - a team powered by Mercedes - for 2019 were Esteban Ocon to switch to Renault. Russell featured in FP1 in Brazil and Abu Dhabi for Force India last year.

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However, following Daniel Ricciardo's shock decision to quit Red Bull for Renault in 2019 and the sale of Force India to a consortium led by the father of Williams driver Lance Stroll, opportunities appear more limited for the Mercedes-backed drivers.

Russell conceded that the changes in the driver market over the summer had impacted on his plans for 2019, forcing both him and Mercedes to change their approach and look at opportunities for next season in a different way.

"It’s definitely had a bit of a knock-on effect, just because things have changed so much to what we anticipated a month or six weeks ago," Russell told Crash.net.

"When you look where we want to end up, and you kind of put all the other drivers in place where you expect them to be, that’s now all changed, and we’ve got to kind of re-look at it.

"Some drivers who you didn’t expect to be looking for drives are now looking for drives. Teams which potentially didn’t have many options for drivers now have a few more.

"It’s definitely changed my position. But at the end of the day, all I can do is keep winning and keep putting the car on pole, and I’ll make the opportunity for myself."

Mercedes has previously found opportunities for its young drivers outside of teams it supplies engines to. Ocon's proposed move to Renault act as one example, while Pascal Wehrlein drove for the Ferrari-powered Sauber team in 2017.

Russell expressed his faith in Mercedes' ability to help find him an opportunity for next year, but stressed he needed to continue to deliver in F2 and prove that he deserved a seat.

"I think if they believe their drivers deserve a chance, they’ll make that happen, no matter what. That is the positive," Russell said.

"They won’t give me the opportunity just because they’re Mercedes. If they don’t think I’ve done a good enough job in Formula 2, they won’t give me the opportunity.

"Pascal, he came from winning DTM at a young age and they had to find him a Formula 1 seat. When Manor left, they still felt like he deserved a chance, and they had to find him a seat as they did at Sauber. Same with Esteban, and hopefully the same with myself.

"We’re leading Formula 2 in my rookie season. I think with the success of Charles [Leclerc] last year, there probably isn’t as much credit probably being given to myself and Lando [Norris], who are one-two in the championship, two rookies.

"A couple of years ago that was completely unheard of. People used to say you had to be in your third or fourth year to win GP2. Even Stoffel [Vandoorne] winning it in his second year was a massive wow factor.

"Mercedes are clear. I’ve got to make this happen for myself as much as the help they give me."

Asked if he was considering options outside of F1 for 2019, Russell said: "No, I think until I know Formula 1 is not an option, I won’t be looking elsewhere.

"At the moment, Formula 1 is definitely still an option, so I’m fully focused on trying to secure that seat."

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