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Hulkenberg: Red Bull rumours great for my ego!

Hulkenberg: Red Bull rumours great for my ego!

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Hulkenberg: Red Bull rumours great for my ego!

Hulkenberg: Red Bull rumours great for my ego!

Nico Hulkenberg jested about enjoying an ego boost when seeing his name linked with Red Bull over recent days, but dismissed claims that he could replace Pierre Gasly in 2020 as "fake news". Gasly himself went further, calling the reports "bulls***".

Gasly has taken time to get up to top speed in 2019, generally running off the pace of team-mate Max Verstappen, although he has closed the gap somewhat in recent races.

The Italian branch of motorsport.com suggested that Red Bull chief Dr Helmut Marko's famously short patience may have been tested, with Hulkenberg potentially the driver to benefit.

However, the Renault driver made it a trio of voices to dismiss the rumours, after Marko and Gasly had each given them short shrift.

"I think I heard it came from the Italian side," Hulkenberg said. "It was made up. It's basically fake news."

Asked how it felt to be linked to a front-running team, he joked: "Felt great for my ego!

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"Not really. It didn't do anything to me. My confidence level is OK, even without it."

Hulkenberg has not scored points since the opening round of the season in Australia, with Renault having had to run below full power after encountering engine issues in the opening rounds.

An upgraded power unit and aero tweaks are hoped to put the French marque back in business for the French Grand Prix, while Hulkenberg hopes the revival can begin at this week's Canadian GP.

He said: "We will bounce back. I'm feeling fairly strong. The record here, I like this place and this track, and I feel our package is definitely competitive for fourth-best team.

"I think we know what to do this weekend with both cars."

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