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Max Verstappen

Horner clarifies Newey clause in Verstappen contract

Christian Horner has moved to deny the existence of a clause in Max Verstappen's contract linked to Adrian Newey, saying no such early exit provision exists in the Dutchman's Red Bull deal.

Horner
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Christian Horner has shut down any suggestion of a clause in Max Verstappen's Red Bull contract related to Adrian Newey.

The team's chief technical officer will depart in early 2025. Since the news broke earlier in the week, a fresh wave of speculation has swept over the F1 paddock - including the future of Verstappen, despite his current deal running until the end of 2028.

There is known to be a break clause in the Dutchman's deal related to Dr Helmut Marko, but Horner has denied the existence of a similar clause linked to Newey.

"Max's contract is going to remain confidential, but there are no clauses that link Adrian [Newey] in any way to Max [Verstappen]," the Red Bull team principal told Sky Sports F1.

"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."

'You report those rumblings every week, but he's still here'

The added uncertainly of Newey's exit, coupled with existing speculation surrounding the internal health of the Red Bull team has said to have left the Verstappen camp unsure about staying with the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

Rumours over his future began early in the season amid a power struggle at Red Bull, a situation which is also believed to have factored heavily in Newey's decision to resign his position.

There have been suggestions in the past that Verstappen's management team, including his father Jos, has not always seen eye-to-eye with Horner. The instability generated by now-dismissed allegations made against Horner amplified such talk.

The Verstappen speculation has ramped up in recent weeks, with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff doing his best to stoke the fires of discontent. The news of Newey leaving has exacerbated the situation, leading to recent reports of a potential €150 million deal being offered to the Dutchman.

"You report those rumblings every week, but he's still here," Horner quipped back when asked about the latest round of rumours.

"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."

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