Earlier in the week, the Daily Mail reported Bottas could be dropped and replaced by Mercedes junior George Russell before the end of the season.

In Thursday’s drivers’ press conference, Bottas labelled the rumours as “bullshit” and took a swipe at Red Bull for its treatment of drivers over the years.

Shortly after, Lewis Hamilton lept to the defence of his teammate, urging critics to “give him a break”.

Speaking after Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff reiterated his intentions to keep Bottas alongside Lewis Hamilton for the rest of the season.

“Absolutely, unless he gets the flu and can’t drive he’s going to be in that car,” Wolff said. “I see no reason to change. It’s these guys over there that like to play musical chairs. No, no change expected.”

Wolff used an interesting analogy to describe his current situation with Bottas, confirming his full support for the Finn as he looks to recover from his worst start to a season as a Mercedes driver.

“It depends on your mentality,” Wolff added. “If you’re not happy with your wife and you start to already look for other ones it’s not going to improve the relationship.

“I try to work on the relationship with my driver and achieve the best result for him before I am starting to flirt with somebody else.”

Mercedes dominated Friday practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, topping both sessions.

Bottas was fastest in the morning session, while Hamilton was the man to beat in the afternoon.

 

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