The Williams driver is expected to be confirmed as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate for 2022 in the near-future to form an all-British line-up at Mercedes.

Speculation surrounding the driver market intensified this week in the build up to the Dutch Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement announcement leaving a spare seat at Alfa Romeo which Valtteri Bottas is set to take.

Russell, who has been linked with graduation to a Mercedes works seat for months following his impressive performances for Williams, revealed he knows which team he will be at next year.

“I know where I’ll be driving next year,” he confirmed during Thursday’s press conferences at Zandvoort.

Pushed for an answer on when exactly he was informed, Russell drew a lengthy pause before replying: “Verbally before Spa.

“I’m not going to sit here and lie and not tell the truth,” he added.

“The truth is there’s nothing to announce, but I’m aware of the situation of where I’ll be racing next year, and I was informed just prior to Spa.”

Earlier in the day, seven-time world champion Hamilton issued a glowing endorsement for Russell, saying he would be open to the 23-year-old Briton becoming his new teammate.

Hamilton also downplayed title rival Max Verstappen’s suggestion that Russell’s expected arrival would make his life “very difficult” and potentially disrupt the team harmony that currently exists at Mercedes.

Keen not to give any further detail away, Russell reiterated the “huge” respect he has for Hamilton and said partnering him at Mercedes would be an “incredible opportunity”.

“I have a huge amount of respect for Lewis and everything he’s achieved and I’ve seen him working incredibly hard with the engineers when I was a junior driver,” Russell explained.

“He definitely doesn’t just rely on his immense natural talent, he goes above and beyond to try and find the extra bit.

“I guess for any driver, you want the opportunity to go against the best and learn from the best and I think that would be an incredible opportunity to be there.

“But don’t take anything rom me saying this now as this is the same thing I’ve said for the last 3 years,” he concluded. “Lewis is the goat and it’s be a huge op to go alongside him and learn from him.”