Max Verstappen's contract with Red Bull could be extended at quite an early stage, according to Helmut Marko.
While Verstappen's current contract runs to the end of 2023, Marko believes that the Dutch driver could put pen to paper earlier than planned as the relationship between both sides has finally recognised its potential with Verstappen winning the Drivers' World Championship for 2021.
With Verstappen off to Salzburg to visit the home of Red Bull, he's scheduled to have a meeting with Marko as well, who confirmed that the newly crowned World Champion's manager, Raymond Vermeulen, is also set to have a meeting with him.
"Let's see then," Marko said, in an interview with Motorsport-Total, continuing to say that, at the meeting, "we will discuss a corresponding extension and perhaps also conclude it."
Not worried about losing Verstappen
While the new regulation cycle threatens to completely change the competitiveness of every team in 2022, there's one team that Marko is confident won't be able to turn Verstappen's head.
With Red Bull's relationship with Mercedes disintegrating over the course of 2021, Marko is confident that the eight-time Constructors' Champions couldn't tempt him away from them.
"There is no such risk," Marko said, joking that Verstappen would 'call himself a taxi' rather than get into a Mercedes, as "too much was destroyed in Silverstone."
Full of praise for the new World Champion, Marko said that Verstappen is "the fastest, most consistent and most aggressive driver we have ever had", and drew comparisons to the late, great Ayrton Senna.
"These two drivers are comparable in their mentality," Marko said, "their personality and their aggressiveness. We are happy to have that we have someone like that."
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