Red Bull team advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that star driver Max Verstappen will be allowed to break away from his lucrative contract if the performance of the car starts to give poor results.
The young Dutchman signed a bumper deal with Red Bull during the winter which is believed to be in the region of $250 million. However, the deal has also tied him to the club for the next 5 years.
Verstappen has been linked with Mercedes a number of times in the past, with Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff believed to be a keen admirer of the 24-year-old’s talents.
Although Verstappen agreed a long-term deal with Red Bull, he may have the chance to move to another team if things begin to go awry.
This has been confirmed by Marko, who said that a poor showing like the one in 2014 will see Verstappen given the chance to leave the team.
“If Red Bull experiences a kind of crash, just like in 2014, then there is, of course, an escape clause,” Marko said.
Marko was quick to admit that Verstappen’s maiden F1 championship win has been massive for the team as par as commercial deals are concerned.
He went as far as to say that it is the most significant achievement in Red Bull’s storied history.
Porsche partnership on the brink?
Soon, Red Bull will also reportedly get a boost in the form of a partnership with Porsche.
The Volkswagen group has given the green light to both Audi and Porsche to enter F1.
While Audi is believed to be set to provide McLaren with a strong financial package, Audi will provide Red Bull with its powertrains.
Marko knows that fresh interest in his team has a lot to do with Verstappen’s recent success and growing brand value in F1.
“Max is an important link in the chess game. It is not surprising manufacturers take this into account,” he said.
“It was important for Red Bull to be able to say we have committed the best driver to our team until 2028.
“If you have someone like Max, it has a positive effect on the rest of the team and team partners.”
Will Red Bull still develop its own powertrains in 2025?
Red Bull was initially believed to be keen to manufacture its own powertrains starting from 2025, but that may not be the case anymore.
“It’s still open. It makes sense we are the most attractive partner for manufacturers,” Marko said.
As things stand, it doesn’t seem likely that Verstappen will be using the exit clause any time soon. Red Bull appears to have provided him with a car capable of fighting for the championship once again.
However, we all know how quickly things can change in sport.