“I feel ready. I’ve had a year and a bit under my belt, and I would have the remainder of this year. But there’s no hard feelings from Mercedes’ perspective, there’s nothing more they could do. Ultimately I have a contract here at Williams.
“Claire was very firm with her feelings towards everything,” he added. “She wasn’t ready to let me go, so I have to respect that decision and get on with it really and just move forward.”
The 2018 F2 champion earned his most impressive Formula 1 qualifying result to date last weekend at a wet Styrian Grand Prix, starting the race 11th after going 12th fastest.
Such a performance always leads to speculation about his future, but Russell insists he is focused on the job at hand.
“Every time I jump in the car I’m out there to do the best job possible, I’m not thinking about any outside factors,” he said.
“They will come or [they will] not. The only thing I can control is the job I do on track and that hasn’t changed since day one. I’m just doing my utmost to prove what I can do.”
Asked whether he was hoping to get the opportunity to fight six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in the same car, Russell replied: “Absolutely. Lewis is the benchmark and I want to be compared against the best. I think I know where my level is at but until I get tested by the best, I won’t truly know. I’m sure there’s bits I can learn from him, so I’d relish that challenge.”