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Max Verstappen

Marko cryptic on Verstappen future: 'You should ask Wolff'

Max Verstappen's future continues to remain a topic of conversation, with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko seemingly playing a leading role in the rumours.

Verstappen Marko Japan
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has added fuel to the fire regarding speculation surrounding star driver Max Verstappen.

The three-time F1 champion's future has been in the spotlight since it emerged he has a clause in a contract that runs through to the end of 2028 that allows him to leave should 80-year-old Marko also depart.

Although leaving Red Bull would appear foolish at present, Verstappen's dominance cannot be guaranteed given new power unit rules come into force in 2026. Red Bull is building its engine for the first time, and rumours persist it is behind in development.

With Lewis Hamilton leaving Mercedes at the end of this season to join Ferrari, team principal Toto Wolff has naturally refused to rule out a move for Verstappen, conceding that any team boss - him included - would perform handstands to sign the Dutchman.

Marko has previously given little away when it comes to Verstappen's career path but has now made clear that "he [Wolff] wants him", and understandably so as "nobody has the level of Max Verstappen".

With retired four-time champion Sebastian Vettel also seemingly in the running, along with Mercedes rising star junior Kimi Antonelli, Marko can understand why both would also interest Wolff, adding: "Vettel has a great past and Antonelli a potentially great future."

As to whether he feels Vettel, who won all four of his titles with Red Bull from 2010-2013, would be able to slot back into F1, Marko said: "He has been out for a long time, but he is only 36 years old. So it is a question of motivation."

The bigger question surrounds Verstappen, however. When pressed on whether a switch to Mercedes was genuinely possible, he cryptically replied: "You'd have to ask Toto Wolff that."

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