Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has dismissed as "nonsense" rumors that emerged earlier this week about a potential in-season swap between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell.
The story was disseminated by the Daily Mail which claimed – based on alleged comments from an insider at Mercedes - that the Brackley squad was "losing faith" in Bottas and that the Finn could be replaced before the end of the season.
Speaking to Austrian daily Osterreich, Wolff rejected the nonsensical report in short order.
"Nonsense," quipped Wolff. "Bottas is really good – he can take on anyone in the field. And again and again he is able to drive faster than Lewis, like last time in Portimao qualifying.
"Lewis deserves to be world champion through being more consistent."
Ahead of the start of the 2021 season, Wolff said that he would seek clarity on Hamilton's future much earlier than in the past.
But the Mercedes boss says that contract discussions with the seven-time world champion are not currently on his agenda.
"At the moment we are concentrating on the championship," he said. "We must not take our eyes off the ball.
"If at some point there is time we will talk about the future, but we haven’t started that yet."