The shortcuts feature, below the search bar, displays recently visited sites even if you disable the recent activity option and the sponsored shortcuts option. There is no way to prevent this apart from manually clicking the 3 dots on the shortcut and clicking dismiss or delete from history. When I have selected the option to disable recent activity from being displayed in shortcuts: my recent activity should not be displayed in shortcuts. These shortcuts should only display sites that I myself have pinned. Please consider removing this inimical feature to improve your browser and create a more polished browsing experience.