Williams deputy Formula 1 chief Claire Williams has hit back at speculation suggesting Robert Kubica could be replaced midway through the 2019 season, saying there is “no thought” of making a switch.

Kubica returned to F1 this year after more than eight years out through injury, but has languished at the back of the field amid Williams’ ongoing struggles.

Speculation emerged last week in the French media that Kubica could potentially be replaced midway through the season, with Mercedes youngster Esteban Ocon being mooted as a possible replacement.

Speaking on Thursday at Silverstone, Williams was quick to dismiss the suggestions and stress there was no consideration of making any driver changes mid-season.

“I find speculation quite frustrating, because unless you actually know on the inside, you don’t know what’s going on,” Williams said.

“Our relationship with Robert is as strong as it was. He’s getting his head down and doing what he needs to do, and we’re trying to do everything that we can to give him a better car so that he can perform at the level that he wants to.

“As far as I’m concerned, there are no frustrations, certainly from our side. I’m sure he has a level of frustration because he doesn’t have the equipment that he would like at the moment.

“We’re only halfway through the season, so it’s a little early for us to start thinking about 2020 and the driver line-up for next year. We have started to think about it, but we’re in no position to be making any final decisions yet, and that probably won’t come until the third quarter of this year.

“There is no thought about replacing Robert at all during the season. Absolutely not.”

Kubica has failed to beat rookie teammate George Russell in qualifying this year, and has finished ahead just once in the race, coming at the French Grand Prix when Russell was forced into an additional pit stop due to damage to his car.

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