George Russell says he'll stay the course this year in F1, pushing Williams forward while keeping himself in line for a potential move to Mercedes for 2022.
Russell's one-off with the world championship winning team at Sakhir bolstered in the best way possible the young Briton's prospects of joining Mercedes in twelve months, possibly as Valtteri Bottas' replacement whose contract with the Black Arrows outfit runs out at the end of this season.
But despite his strong chances of taking his career to the next level in 2022, Russell insists he can't just sit back in anticipation and consider his upcoming season with Williams as a mere placeholder.
"I think it’s continuing the form and continuing the positive attitude internally with the team and externally," said Russell when asked what he needed to do to secure his plum seat at Mercedes.
"It’s not getting frustrated with the poor performance here and continuing to try to push Williams further forward.
"I think Mercedes believe in me, they have given me the opportunity and they have always had my back.
"Now it’s sort of my duty that I stay true and that I don’t suddenly change over the course of next year because of certain circumstances and turn into something that I’m not currently."
As he heads into 2021 with the aim of improving Williams' position in the running order, Russell hopes to apply in the future a few of the important lessons he took away from his Sakhir GP weekend with Mercedes.
"I think the thing I’ve learned most is that you have to be adaptable," explained Russell. "My sort of driving style I did in the Williams actually hurt me slightly in the Mercedes.
"So when I came back to the Williams and I tried to implement some of the things that I did in that Bahrain race, but I couldn’t do it in the Williams, I think that sort of reinforced to me that you have to be open minded and you have to adapt to whatever the car is giving you.
"So if one guy drives like that in a Mercedes, it doesn’t mean you can drive like that in a Williams, and vice versa."