MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 16:49:27| >> :120:4062:4062:

Schumacher, Horner reject mid-season Bottas axe rumours

Rumours that Valtteri Bottas could lose his Mercedes seat before the end of the season do not "make sense", according to former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher.

Rumours that Valtteri Bottas could lose his Mercedes seat before the end of the season do not "make sense", according to former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper quoted a team source as saying there is "unrest" at Mercedes about the Finn's performance.

"He is not up to it, which was made clearer by the job we saw (George) Russell do in Bahrain," the unnamed insider added.

Many seasoned media figures initially dismissed the reports, suggesting that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff would not use the Daily Mail for such a leak.

"The Daily Mail is not taken seriously by anyone," noted the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti.

Ralf Schumacher also played down the likelihood that it is true.

"It doesn't make sense to swap out Valtteri during the season," he told Sport1.

"Obviously he is not as strong as Hamilton, because there are only a few who are. But compared to Imola, he clearly improved in Portugal - he was on pole remember," the German added.

Schumacher continued: "It is still far too early in the season to be able to draw such conclusions. A swap would also bring more unrest to the team than it would solve.

"I don't think Hamilton would be happy about having Russell as a teammate either."

Even Red Bull team boss Christian Horner doubts the rumour, telling the Independent newspaper that Bottas can still "drive the car very quickly".

"Circumstances are always going to happen so let's see how things pan out, but Valtteri has done a great job for Mercedes over the last few years," he said.

"I would be surprised if they did switch Valtteri and George around mid-season."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States98825
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia77418
Great BritainGreat Britain45413
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (3.15am-6.10am)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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