Toto Wolff has played down claims Mercedes is already eyeing Valtteri Bottas’ 2019 replacement.

Despite a solid start to his first year in silver and securing a new deal for 2018, Bottas is rumoured to have been earmarked for replacement in 2019 by Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon.

Team boss Wolff denies it.

“Esteban is one of our drivers and is therefore in the picture, but the team and all of its strength is behind Valtteri,” he told Turun Sanomat newspaper.

“If we to start thinking about other drivers, it would mean that the emotional side would not be 100 per cent for Valtteri,” Wolff added.

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