Mercedes protege Russell has long been linked with a promotion to the works’ team next season alongside Lewis Hamilton, with some media reports claiming an announcement could be made as early as next month’s British Grand Prix.

Bottas dismissed the latest rumours as "clickbait" when he faced the media earlier on Thursday at Paul Ricard ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix.

Russell - who turned in a starring display during a one-off call-up to Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir GP and has continued to impress for Williams this year - stressed his future is yet to be decided.

“Nothing is set in stone for next year,” Russell said. “I’m still a Williams driver and I haven’t signed any contracts beyond [this year].

And Russell is determined not to let the speculation surrounding his future become a distraction and potentially effect his performances on-track.

“The better job you do on track, the more chance you have to secure a future,” he added.

“F1 is a ruthless sport, there’s only room for 20 drivers and you’ve got to be on your A-Game and can’t get too carried away looking to the future, because you can start having a bad run of form and suddenly everything can change.”

Russell admitted he is aware of the rumours and said he hopes to have his future settled “one way or another” before the end of the summer break in August.

“Obviously I’m aware about all the speculation, but right now I’m just enjoying driving, race-by-race,” he explained.

“I want to get my future nailed down at some point. But right now I’m just focused on this weekend and into Austria.

“The summer break is usually when these things sort of happen. For most people, the summer break is where you get things set in stone. So for me, I’m just focused race-by-race and just enjoy the curiosity of what is to come.

“It’s sometimes exciting not knowing what the future holds.”

Earlier this week, Alpine announced that Esteban Ocon had committed his mid-to-long term future to the team with a three-year extension.

Asked whether he sees Ocon as one less obstacle to get into Mercedes given his links to the German marquee, Russell replied: “I don’t see it as anything to be honest.

“Firstly, congrats to Esteban, he deserves that and it’s great for Mercedes as well that one of their drivers has their career set in stone and sorted. But no, I haven’t really thought about that.

“Esteban has been at Renault and Alpine for the last couple of years and obviously with his speed and his nationality, it’s a great fit at Alpine.

"That didn’t cross my mind other than I am happy for him and it’s good to see he’s got things all stable and settled after a year out.”