Red Bull respond to talk of big-money Max Verstappen exit loophole

Could Max Verstappen ever be tempted away from Red Bull by a huge offer?

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.-, EMail:
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain,…

Red Bull have insisted that the team’s performance - and not money - will allow Max Verstappen to decide if he stays for the duration of his contract.

The three-time F1 champion is tied to Red Bull until 2028, a period which will include two seasons under the new regulations.

Lewis Hamilton’s blockbuster move from Mercedes to Ferrari - and whatever the knock-on effect inevitably is - has created talk about Verstappen’s long-term future.

Would he stay at Red Bull if a big-money offer from a more competitive rival came in?

“As in every Formula 1 contract, there are clauses if certain success quality criteria are not met,” Helmut Marko told Servus TV.

“These are also included in Max's contract.

“I don't think an incomprehensible amount of money is an issue for Max.

“If we are not in a position to provide him with a car that is capable of winning…of course he's interested in success as a racing driver.

“You don't get any younger.

“And if he doesn't see the light with Red Bull and these criteria come into play, then it's quite clear that he'll look around.

“But where would there be something better?"

How Mercedes opt to fill Hamilton’s seat in 2025 remains to be seen.

Fernando Alonso is among the big-name options but Mercedes could plump for a younger option with a bright future.

The new regulations which will kick in in 2026 could also readdress the current balance and test Red Bull’s dominance.

Red Bull must first decide what to do themselves in 2025, with Sergio Perez’s contract expiring and a host of possible replacements also becoming available.

“Perez still has a contract for 2024: it's up to him,” Marko said.

“If he drives in similar form to how he finished the last races [of 2023], then we can easily talk about a further extension.”

Daniel Ricciardo, who returned with Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri (now Visa Cash App RB) last year, is a key option but has been challenged by Marko.

“Ricciardo has to show that he has [Yuki] Tsunoda clearly under control,” Marko said.

“Then he might be a candidate.

“But you asked for a date. I would say: after the summer break, you could already have certain considerations ready."

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