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Verstappen Committed to Red Bull Amid Horner Drama

Verstappen Committed to Red Bull Amid Horner Drama

21/03/2024

Amid ongoing speculation about his future and the Christian Horner affair, Max Verstappen reaffirms his strong commitment to Red Bull Racing, signaling a robust loyalty despite uncertainties.

Max Verstappen states he feels “quite settled” at Red Bull amidst speculations about his future with the team following the ongoing Christian Horner affair.

The world champion had signed a deal three years ago extending his stay with the team until 2028. However, a recently added clause to his contract would allow him to terminate the agreement earlier if team advisor Helmut Marko were to leave.

Marko’s position within the team appeared to be in jeopardy at Jeddah. Nonetheless, Verstappen today expressed his preference to remain with the team.

“I believe there are all the reasons to be happy,” he said.

“The car is performing very well. There are so many great people in the team who are constantly striving for better results.”

“That’s where my focus is. I’m concentrating on performance, I’m happy, and when I go home, I don’t think about anything else because I’m quite settled where I am. And that’s also where I want to be.”

He heads into this weekend’s race with the intention of continuing his unbeaten streak since the start of the new season.

“This has definitely been the best start of the year so far for me, personally.”

“In this car, there’s just a good balance. But I also think as a team, we’ve worked very well, with not too many mistakes. So, of course, I’m very happy about that and I hope we can continue in this way.”

“We’ve tried to keep learning, seeing what we can do better, but it’s been very positive.”

Regarding Mercedes F1 rumors

Verstappen was later questioned again in a second round of interviews about rumors linking him to Mercedes F1. He is, after all, openly courted by Toto Wolff!

“I can understand that. It has no impact on me in terms of what I would do. But I mean, it’s always nice to hear that. Toto Wolff and I, we’ve had our moments, but that’s normal between two teams fighting for championships. But respect has always been there. From my side, it changes nothing.”

When asked if he would ever drive for Mercedes, Max initially responded evasively: “For which year are you asking?”

Upon being told the year doesn’t matter, Verstappen replied, “I don’t know. I’m not sure what will happen after 2028. I don’t know if I’ll stay in F1 or continue. Maybe sign a new deal. I just don’t know yet.”

Red Bull Racing is like a family to Verstappen

However, Verstappen wishes to reiterate his contentment at Red Bull but emphasizes the need for the team to stay united. In other words: everyone needs to get along!

“I’m happy within the team. It’s very important that we try to retain the team’s key personnel longer. Because, of course, that’s where the performance is. And ultimately it’s about performance.”

“It’s the same if I wasn’t performing, I wouldn’t be sitting here in front of you. So, I understand how it works. I intend to be here till the end. Because, of course, it would be a great story for me personally to see it through to the end, as it essentially means I’ve been part of a family and a team.”

Verstappen keeps the names of these key figures a secret. Like Helmut Marko, however, he stresses that the team must remain unified.

“Always with high-performing teams, when you have a good group of people, it’s important to keep them all together, happy, and in the same roles.”

The Dutchman finally says he feels just as comfortable in the team as before the Horner saga.

“For me, it’s like a second family. I hope the focus will soon shift back to racing because all these questions are dragging on a bit too much.”

Concerns over Red Bull’s Engine for 2026?

One factor mentioned for a possible Verstappen departure is potential skepticism regarding Red Bull’s powertrain project.

Red Bull has established its own Powertrains division to work on the upcoming 2026 engine regulations, with support from American car manufacturer Ford.

Despite not harboring any illusions about the challenge facing his team, Verstappen insists he has complete confidence in Red Bull to compete with established engine suppliers.

“I mean, if I have to speculate about everything, I might as well worry about whether I’ll still be alive tomorrow, right? So, I’m not too concerned about that. Of course, I’m also in close contact with Christian Horner on this matter. And the people working on it, everyone is working incredibly hard.”

“So, there’s no need to panic about it either. And then, it’s not 2026 yet. And we know it’s a very big task. We’re not taking it lightly. And of course, with so many established engine manufacturers, we don’t think it’s going to be easy to beat them.”

“But we have a lot of good people working on the project. And we’re very excited about it. So, of course, time will tell how it will turn out.”

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