Horner Reveals Extent To Which Verstappen's Contract Is Tied To Newey

Sunday, 05 May 2024 at 18:00
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Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing's team principal) discussed Max Verstappen's contract situation in relation to the exit of chief technical officer Adrian Newey.
Helmut Marko was under threat of having to leave the Austrian team sometime around the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen, back then, warned he would go as well if his 80-year-old friend had to.
It was later revealed and confirmed that the 26-year-old seems to have a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the team from Milton Keynes at any time, given that Marko does.
In that respect, people started wondering whether the triple World Champion's contract isn't also tied to some other key people inside Red Bull, like Adrian Newey, whose departure was announced this week. However, Christian Horner dismissed all the speculations as he told Sky Sports F1:

"Max's contract is going to remain confidential, but there are no clauses that link Adrian [Newey] in any way to Max [Verstappen]."

"They've enjoyed a good relationship over the years as have our previous drivers. But Max understands there's been a planning process to this and it's not just a knee-jerk - the structure will not change with Adrian stepping back."

Recent speculations also suggested Verstappen was about to meet with Mercedes leaders who would like to offer him a $150 million/year contract if he makes the switch, but the team principal of Red Bull Racing denied these rumors as well.

"You report those rumblings every week, but he's still here. Max is very happy in the team, he's got a wonderful group of engineers around him, he's got a great car - he's in the best car on the grid. He's driving in the form of his life."

"It's not about contracts, it's about being content, and I think that's the same for any driver. He has that, he has that dynamic around him. I think what you're seeing with him is a driver that's revelling in that environment."