Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko rejected recent paddock gossip suggesting that the energy drink company was engaged in talks with Renault’s Nico Hulkeberg for 2020.

The rumors emerged as a result of Pierre Gasly’s struggles with Red Bull Racing, with reports suggesting that the Milton Keynes-based outfit was looking for a back-up solution for next season should the Frenchman’s performance level fail to improve.

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While Gasly has indeed endured a laborious start to his life at Red Bull Racing, the 23-year-old’s performance of late has improved, with Gasly achieving his best result to date in Monaco where he finished fifth and bagged an extra point for fastest lap.

Marko was adamant the reports regarding Red Bull and Hulkenberg were nothing more than “absolute nonsense”.

“These rumours are so far-fetched that I do not even want to comment on them anymore,” the Austrian told AutoBild.

“It’s absolute nonsense, that’s what I said to Gasly, who even called me about it.”

Marko’s denial takes nothing away from the fact that Gasly will need to step up his performance sooner rather than later relative to team mate Max Verstappen, or risk a painful exit from the Red Bull family.

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