Dec.19 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Toto Wolff has rejected speculation he and Niki Lauda no longer get along.

The rumours had spread around the paddock towards the end of Mercedes’ dominant 2015 campaign, but the Austrians tackled it by amusingly joining hands as they exited a meeting.

Wolff, the team boss, now insists that he still sees eye-to-eye with the F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman, even regarding him as a rare “friend”.

“We often discuss things with different viewpoints, but we are together with the aim of developing this team,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

“In this environment, it’s hard to make friends, but I believe that my relationship with Niki comes very close — even if he says he has no friends,” added Wolff.

“He is my friend, my sparring partner, my business partner, my travel companion on long overseas flights. I appreciate him in all of his roles,” Toto continued.

“He is a triple world champion, an icon, he plays a greater role for formula one and he is always someone that I learn from,” he added.