George Russell has ruled a move to Red Bull as "impossible" but has conceded he is flattered by the interest from the championship-leading team.
The Williams driver is in a straight fight with Valtteri Bottas to land the second seat at Mercedes for 2022, a switch that would complete a career-long journey through the junior ranks with the German manufacturer.
Red Bull had indicated it would be "worth considering" a move for Russell should the British driver not make the step up to Mercedes, but speaking to RTL, the 23-year-old dismissed all possibilities of a move to partner Max Verstappen.
"It is impossible for me to drive at Red Bull next year," he insisted.
"I am a Mercedes driver. Mercedes has been by my side throughout my career. As a young driver, Mercedes has given me many opportunities."
"Of course it's nice to get positive feedback from the Formula 1 scene or to hear about the interest of other teams, but my only loyalty is to Mercedes."
Decision to be made at 'Spa at the earliest'
The decision on whether to stick or twist for Mercedes has major implications on the rest of the F1 driver market, with a free agent of Bottas' calibre certain to catch the eyes of teams yet to finalise a lineup.
Asked when a decision could be expected, Russell indicated: "At the Spa race the earliest possible time would be, but certainly not earlier.
"That kind of thing just takes time. And we have to decide that at the right moment and it just hasn't come yet."
"This season is so intense for everyone, for the teams and also for the drivers. This decision about me is simply not a priority. We are not even halfway through the season and are already talking about the next one."
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.