Nikita Mazepin has broken his silence after his team, Haas, removed Russian title sponsor Uralkali from their car and pulled the 22-year-old driver from a scheduled lunchtime press conference.
Their decisions come in the wake of Russia launching a major military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, causing outrage across the globe and sparking sanctions from NATO countries.
In response to the crisis, Haas removed their red and blue livery and replaced it with an all-white design, without Uralkali stickers, for Friday's testing action in Barcelona.
They also removed Mazepin from a scheduled lunchtime drivers' press conference after news emerged that the 2022 Russian Grand Prix would not go ahead.
"To my fans and followers – it's a difficult time and I am not in control over a lot of what is being said and done," said Mazepin, as he took to social media.
"I'm choosing to focus on what I can control by working hard and doing my best for my Haas team."
He added: "My deepest thanks for your understanding and support.
Steiner hopeful that Mazepin can "keep his head up"
As NATO countries, including Haas' native United States, apply economic sanctions on Russia, the team could well be forced to cut their ties with Uralkali altogether.
That would leave Haas without a title sponsor, causing great concern for their future and plunging Mazepin's seat into some doubt.
The former F2 race winner has been a target for plenty of abuse during his time in Formula 1 – but his team have stuck by him and appear set to continue to do so.
"The best thing is not to look at what is [on social media]. We just need to crack on and see where this ends up," Steiner told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We need to work through it and hopefully he can keep his head up and keep on going."
With F1 pre-season testing getting underway in Barcelona this week, our journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look ahead to what to expect.