The 23-year-old Briton will replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next season to become Lewis Hamilton’s new teammate after impressing in largely uncompetitive machinery at Williams for two-and-a-half years since making his F1 debut in 2019. 

But with seven races still left to run in 2021 including this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, Russell is refusing to get ahead of himself and start thinking about his promotion to the front of the grid. 

“The relationship with Lewis hasn’t changed but I am sure it will grow as we start working more together,” Russell said on Thursday in Istanbul.

"I haven’t really cast an eye on 2022 yet and I think for everybody, we just want to get this season out of the way. 

“We’re all in our own battles and it would be too early to start trying to integrate the two as it would just become a distraction for me, a distraction for them. 

“When the time is right we will definitely hit the ground running and give it 120% to make sure we’re prepared as possible for the start of the season.”

Russell’s haul of 16 points over the last five races - including a maiden podium with second place in the abandoned Belgian Grand Prix - matches what Sergio Perez has scored in the Red Bull over the same spell. 

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Following its initial struggles at the start of the year, Russell admitted there was “no way” he would have predicted Williams’ recent upswing in form. 

“You always hope and you always think [the car] will be an improvement on the previous one,” he said. “But certainly after the Bahrain test and the Bahrain race, there was no way I thought those stats would have been possible.

“There’s a lot to thank the team, for making a lot of good decisions at the right moments. If we think back to these races, Spa was obviously wet, last week [in Sochi] was very tricky conditions in both qualifying and the race.

Budapest also, started the race on inters and it was only really in Monza when the conditions were pretty stable, but even then we had the Sprint race format, so things were different again.

“So I think we've just done an amazing job these past five races, been in the right place at the right time to capitalise on these moments, and I think we've improved the car as well along the way.” 

And Russell believes some of the performance gains have been made thanks to gaining a greater grasp of Williams’ FW43B challenger as the season has gone on. 

“We've understood it more,” Russell explained. “We’ve tried some things and things have turned out better than perhaps we would have expected. And I think we've found a bit of performance there.

“It was maybe a little shame not to score some more points in Sochi given the circumstances at the end of the race. We had a really difficult final stint, but it's definitely been a good five races or so.”