Red Bull revealed that they were not confident of retaining Max Verstappen, saying consistent success will be key for it to happen.
Red Bull won the world championship through Verstappen’s exploits in 2021. He fended off the challenge of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton by winning it on the last lap of the last race of the season.
With the Dutchman bringing success to his team and being their product through and through, a retention is the next step. His contract expires soon, and the team is doing everything to tie him down to a new one.
However, Red Bull revealed that they were not confident of retaining Verstappen, saying they will need to deliver consistently in order to get him to stay.
“The success now is very important for us,” Red Bull team advisor Helmut Marko told AutoRevue, as quoted by Planet F1.
“That is also the reason why we have worked towards this. I’ve said it before – we need a winning car if we want to keep Verstappen in the long term. That’s why we took the decision in mid-2020 to focus entirely on (the 2021) car.
“Breaking the (Mercedes) dominance after seven years, which was mainly due to the engine, had an impact on the whole of Formula 1. Interest and viewer numbers have grown rapidly. It is definitely the most important victory we have achieved in the history of Red Bull Racing.”
Personal and professional
Red Bull boss Christian Horner commented on Verstappen’s contract situation, saying the personal connection between the champion and his team would play a pivotal role in him staying.
“Relationships, I think, are not about contracts, it’s exactly about relationships,” he said.
“And Max, he came into the team as almost a boy and he’s grown into a young man, and he’s grown with the team. I think the relationship we share, the trust we share in each other, is worth more than any piece of paper.
“I look forward to racing with Max for many years to come and I believe the best years are very much still to come.”