Helmut Marko is confident that Max Verstappen won't be tempted away from Red Bull Racing by Mercedes, at least in the short-term.
The Dutchman has a long-term contract with Red Bull Racing until the end of 2023, but is understood to have a performance-based clause built in that would allow him to leave if he wished.
With Mercedes, in theory, having both seats open up for 2022 and the start of the new regulations, there is the possibility of Verstappen being tempted away from Red Bull Racing.
"There is no longer this superiority that has made the dominance of Mercedes possible in recent years, since the introduction of the hybrid engine," Marko explained to German TV station RTL.
With Honda having made a huge step forward and seemingly on par with Mercedes ahead of the upcoming engine freeze that will lock in their performance until 2025, Marko denied being afraid of losing Verstappen to their main rivals and said "I'm very optimistic for 2022."
Red Bull may have narrowly lost the first race of the year in Bahrain, but have already confirmed updates will be rolled out for their RB16B for the next race at Imola on 18 April.