JUNE 25, 2019
Latest Gasly axe reports
Dr Helmut Marko has denied speculation Red Bull is preparing to oust struggling driver Pierre Gasly.
Frenchman Gasly, 23, was promoted to replace Daniel Ricciardo at the senior Red Bull team but has notably struggled alongside Max Verstappen.
Team boss Christian Horner even admitted to feeling personal "frustration" about Gasly's lacklustre performance in France last weekend.
In that climate, it was notable that Marko - Red Bull's driver chief - was spotted in conversation with Daniil Kvyat's manager Nicolas Todt at Paul Ricard.
But Marko said reports Red Bull might swap Gasly for Kvyat are wide of the mark.
"No, that's a false rumour," he told Motorsport-Magazin.com.
"Last week it was Nico Hulkenberg who was the replacement, now it's Kvyat."
Marko played down his meeting with Kvyat's manager Todt, insisting: "I talk to a lot of people. I also talked to his (Todt's) father Jean."
But when asked if Gasly should be worried, Marko answered: "He should be worried about his speed in France, but we plan to end the season with Gasly."
Marko says Gasly's car will alsop be "checked completely" before the Austrian GP to make sure the lack of pace was not due to a technical problem.
Gasly had said: "I've never felt the car like that. I have no answer as to why it was like that."
Notwithstanding Marko's comments, former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde thinks Gasly's cockpit is in danger.
"They could try Alexander Albon, as he is doing well," he told the Dutch publication Formule 1.
"Whoever it is, they might be one or two tenths slower than Max, but five tenths is just too much.
"Gasly is a really good driver, but coming to a team like Red Bull with a teammate like Verstappen, you feel the pressure and it becomes very difficult.
"As the English say, he has cracked under the pressure. I give Gasly until the summer break, and if things don't get better, Red Bull will look at what to do," van der Garde added.