Perez Answers Whether He Knows About Any Exit Clauses In Verstappen's Contract

Thursday, 21 March 2024 at 09:00
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Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez discussed Max Verstappen's possible exit with the media ahead of the third race weekend of the season.
Max Verstappen publicly warned Red Bull after qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend that he might follow Helmut Marko if the Austrian were forced to leave the team.
It was speculated that the Dutchman's contract includes a clause allowing him to leave the team in case Marko was going. Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher confirmed these speculations, asserting he knows for a fact that clause exists.
The 26-year-old's teammate, Sergio Perez, was asked by the media ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend whether he knows about any exit clauses in Verstappen's contract, and he responded:

"I don't know what clause Max has in his contract, I think it's best you ask him. I think Max, as far as I know, has a contract with the team and is fully committed with the team."

"The rest… I think it's not for me to comment, it's nothing to do with me. I'm focusing on my decisions and what I have to do. For us to be talking about other drivers when we don't know any facts… I don't see any point to do so."

Three-time Grand Prix winner Johny Herbert suggested that while Verstappen's exit wouldn't make sense to him, he has heard the deal with Mercedes is "getting quite close."
He also warned that if the triple World Champion were to leave the team, it could have destructive implications and that the team principal, Christian Horner, should consider stepping aside.
Perez was also prompted to answer from his perspective what kind of implications could Verstappen's departure have on the team, and he said:

"I think the team is in a very strong position, with the results we’re currently having, the harmony that there is in the team, I think to achieve that it just takes a lot of years, probably."

"Right now, the dynamic, everyone in the team is working really well together, the whole engineering group is really united."

While he did assert that the team is super strong and united at the moment (results during the first and the second race only prove his words), Checo admitted it would be a "blow" for the team if the Dutchman were to leave.

"You can see that on track in how efficient we've been in the last years. I don't see any reason to change it. It would obviously be a blow for the team if Max were to leave."