Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has categorically confirmed the team will not be replacing Valtteri Bottas with George Russell in 2021.
Speculation surfaced that such a possibility was on the cards after Russell's superb performance in last weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix in replacing Lewis Hamilton, who was self-isolating due to contracting Covid-19.
Russell even fanned the flames by claiming he had given Wolff "a headache, not just for 2022, maybe for sooner". The 22-year-old has since suggested it was "just a throwaway remark in the heat of the moment".
The rumours have persisted, however, leading to Wolff firmly reiterating the team will be honouring Bottas' contract for next season.
"He is going to be in our car," asserted Wolff. "I hereby confirm it. We have a contract with Valtteri. He will race next year.
"He will need to kick me quite hard in a sensitive zone for me to ever lose my morality and I am loyal to my two race drivers in the same way I am loyal to my two junior drivers."
Wolff, though, has made clear Russell will almost certainly make his recent substitute move permanent at some point in the future.
"George did a phenomenal job last weekend and deserves to be in a great car one day," added Wolff.
"He has a contract with Williams for another year. They have been very flexible and accommodating giving George to Mercedes for a weekend and everything is going to go it's way, but in a structured way."