Helmut Marko has revealed that there was a period of time where he feared that Max Verstappen could leave Red Bull.
The Dutchman is contracted to remain with the squad until the end of 2028, having previously voiced his hopes of racing with them "forever".
However, when the team went through some reliability struggles with their former Renault engines, Marko was concerned about Verstappen possibly wanting to depart.
"I knew then that we had to do something," Marko told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
"But we have always been open and honest about that to him, talking about the problems as well as the opportunities.
"We explained how we envisaged the plans with Honda and we did the same later when we talked to Porsche and Ford. We do that precisely because Max is an important part of the team."
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Marko reflects on Verstappen's future
While Verstappen will continue in F1 for some time yet, the two-time World Champion has not ruled out the possibility of walking away from the sport when his contract comes to an end.
Marko admits that the decision is entirely up to Verstappen, but the Austrian has given his take on what the future might hold for the 25-year-old.
"He is the type of person who can decide that," Marko commented.
then I don't see him just walking around here as a TV analyst or
"Maybe then he will start driving endurance races, possibly with his father, something that is virtually impossible now because of the full F1 calendar."
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