George Russell is hoping Mercedes will give youth a chance after seeing how other teams are preparing for future seasons.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko recently mocked the Silver Arrows for never promoting a driver to its senior team from their junior programme.
With Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas currently contracted to Mercedes until the end of 2020, the rumour mill is well and truly fired up with Sebastian Vettel linked with joining the Silver Arrows once he leaves Ferrari.
But Russell is also in the frame and he has faith in the junior programme he is currently a part of at Mercedes.
“Mercedes don’t have the junior programme for no reason,” Russell said via Sky F1.
“Likewise Red Bull and Ferrari. The whole goal is to try and develop a driver and bring them through into the main team.
“Obviously it’s a lot about timing as well, there’s only two seats per team and at Mercedes, you’ve obviously got Lewis doing the business and he and Valtteri have been a great pairing for the last couple of years, winning the championship.
“So there must be part of them thinking why do we need to change.
“But on the other hand you start to look at the likes of Ferrari with Carlos and Charles – arguably they could be there for the next four, five, six years as a pairing. likewise with Danny (Ricciardo) and Lando (Norris) at McLaren, and then arguably Max and Alex at Red Bull.
“I think for any company having that stability is hugely important. It’s great to see that these teams are looking for the future, and we’ll see what’s next.”
Russell’s debut season in Formula 1 last season ended with zero points but he still managed to make a lasting impression, especially after whitewashing former team-mate Robert Kubica in qualifying.