Jack Aitken says he touched base with Williams to inquire about the team's plans for the Sakhir GP as events started to unfold on Tuesday in Bahrain.
Aitken, who is Williams' official reserve driver, will make his Grand Prix debut with the Grove-based outfit this weekend in Bahrain.
The 25-year-old wasn't sure how the situation would play out after it was announced that Lewis Hamilton had tested positive for COVID-19 and rumors emerged of Russell possibly filling the seven-time world champion's seat at Mercedes.
However, as the hours went by on Tuesday, Aitken resorted to contacting Williams to inquire about the situation.
"When I first saw the news about Hamilton I kind of dismissed it because I knew Stoffel’s position with the team and that George is a Williams driver," Aitken explained.
"Then as things started to unfold it became clear there was a possibility. Such was my impatience that I actually contacted the team and asked what was going on.
"That was on Tuesday afternoon and they said ‘we’re assessing the situation, we’ll get back to you, just sit tight’. So I sat tight for several hours thinking ‘come on’.
"Eventually it stretched out overnight and on Wednesday morning confirmation came through and it was announced half an hour later or something, so it all happened quite quickly."
Aitken admits he's been dealt a "huge opportunity" which the British-Korean driver hopes to capitalize on with the help of this weekend's special circumstances.
"It’s a huge opportunity, but equally one for which I’ve been waiting for quite a long time and I feel quite ready for," he said.
"I’m well up to speed with the car and all the latest updates and as a driver I feel more than capable of stepping in, as I did in Austria.
"I don’t really have any doubts on that side and I’m just here to execute what I know I can.
"I’m quite confident I can come in and do a really good job. I want to get the most out of it because I don’t know when the next one will be."