Frederick Hackbarth, for German publication AutoBild, revealed that the British driver has been unwell 'for weeks', persisting through the final races of the season.
This has apparently led him to take a much-needed break from all current commitments. In Russell's absence, joining team boss Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton, it fell upon Schumacher to express gratitude to the factory team members for the past season and instil motivation for the next one.
In a social post picturing the event, Mercedes admitted that they had 'missed' Russell and urged him to 'get well soon'.
"I'm obviously excited to be racing again in the World Endurance Championship with Alpine," Schumacher said.
"I'm a racer, have always been a racer and I'll be racing again next year because that's what I love to do. Not racing this year was hard and I'm therefore very happy to be back on the track and fighting.
"Believe me, I'm still working hard on hopefully getting back into F1."
At home with the family ❤
Toto, Lewis, and Mick visited Brackley and Brixworth in the week, bringing the team together.
The 24-year-old recently reaffirmed his commitment to Mercedes, remaining as the team's third driver for the upcoming 2024 season.
"I can continue to build relationships with the team here," he added. "It's nice to spend so much time with everyone and get to know them, including people who were here when my father was. It's a very special team and a very special one connection we have."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.