Pierre Gasly has slammed suggestions that he could be replaced at Red Bull by Nico Hulkenberg for the 2020 season, calling them “bullshit” and “bad journalism”.

Gasly joined Red Bull for 2019 after stepping up from Toro Rosso, but has struggled to match teammate Max Verstappen for pace through the opening six races of the year. While Verstappen already has two podiums to his name, Gasly is yet to finish any higher than fifth or beat his teammate in either qualifying or the race.

A report emerged in the Italian media last week suggesting Renault driver Hulkenberg had been sounded out by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko as a possible replacement for Gasly if he did not improve his performances.

Marko later told Auto Bild that the report was “nonsense”, with Gasly offering a similarly-dismissive response when asked about the rumours in Canada on Thursday.

“We call each other every week, so after each race, we’re on the phone together. He called me before just to sort everything out,” Gasly said.

“Honestly, I don’t want to waste any time with this kind of bullshit. I have more important things to take care of like my job, my family, my friends.

“For me, bullshit like this is just bad journalism. I don’t want to comment any more about this.”

Asked by Crash.net how conversations with Marko had gone this year given his renowned lack of patience, Gasly said they had been “good”.

“He’s been really supportive. He knows everything that happens inside the team,” Gasly said.

“I think he has been really good so far.”

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

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