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Helmut Marko

Red Bull respond to Wolff's Verstappen 'wish'

Helmut Marko has responded to claims that Max Verstappen could leave Red Bull.

Verstappen Austria Friday
Article
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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has insisted there is "no reason" for Max Verstappen to leave Red Bull following claims made by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. 

Verstappen's future has been a talking point over this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix. Despite insisting on Thursday he would be at Red Bull in 2025, the picture was then clouded following another fallout between his father Jos and team principal Christian Horner.

Verstappen Sr stated a move to Mercedes for his son could not be ruled out, which will have put Mercedes boss Toto Wolff on red alert.

Wolff has made it clear he would love to have Verstappen at the team as a replacement for Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton, although recognises the car needs to be far more competitive to lure the 26-year-old Dutch driver.

"We will keep a seat open for as long as possible," Wolff told OE24. "But first of all, it is up to us to make our car faster. If the car is fast, more fast drivers will want to drive for us.

"I have said it many times recently. Max Verstappen is the best driver at the moment and is an extraordinary driver.

"Everyone who sees even a chance wants him in the car. [Mercedes-Benz CEO] Ola Kallenius thinks the same." 

'No reason' for Verstappen exit

Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028. It is understood there is an escape clause in the deal that if Marko leaves, then so, too, can Verstappen.

Marko has now responded to Wolff's comments, stressing Verstappen will remain with the team should it continue to deliver a leading car.

"Above all, I think Wolff's wish is the father of the thought," the Austrian said, speaking to Sky Sports DE.

"Our starting point has remained unchanged. As long as Red Bull provides Verstappen with a competitive car, and as long as he feels good, there is no reason for him to leave the team."

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