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Red Bull: Big money offer won’t tempt Verstappen to break contract

Verstappen committed his long-term future to Red Bull back in 2022, off the back of his maiden title success the previous year.

The now three-time world champion has always raced for the Red Bull family in F1, having started with Toro Rosso in 2015 before he joined Red Bull from the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

But with Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari deal opening up a vacancy at Mercedes for 2025, there has been speculation that the Dutchman could become a target for the German manufacturer – especially if it tempted him with a big-money offer.

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has insisted, however, that he is not worried by outside interest in Verstappen.

Although he admits there are performance-related clauses in Verstappen’s contract that would allow him to leave early, he thinks that only a surprise decline in performance would tempt him to even consider another squad.

Speaking to Red Bull’s own Servus TV channel, Marko clarified exactly what Verstappen’s situation was.

Asked about the possibility of Verstappen leaving before 2028, Marko said: “As in every Formula 1 contract, there are clauses if certain success quality criteria are not met. 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?"

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20 (Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images)

One driver decision that Red Bull does have to take this year is what to do with the second seat alongside Verstappen, as Sergio Perez’s contract runs out at the end of this season.

Marko says that Red Bull wants to see how Perez performs over the early stages of the campaign before deciding if it extends its deal with the Mexican or looks elsewhere.“Perez still has a contract for 2024: it's up to him,” explained Marko, when asked about the timeline for a decision.

“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 has to show that he has [Yuki] Tsunoda clearly under control. 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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