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Max Verstappen

Verstappen addresses speculation over Red Bull F1 exit

The last several weeks have seen rumours spark of Max Verstappen potentially heading towards an early Red Bull exit amid unrest within the team.

Verstappen Australia
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To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has declared that he intends to see out his Red Bull contract amid speculation he could leave the team early.

Verstappen currently has a deal in place until the end of the 2028 season but unrest within the Red Bull squad has led to suggestions he may walk far earlier than expected.

His father Jos Verstappen stated the team would be “torn apart” if Christian Horner remained at the helm after the Briton was cleared following an investigation into allegations made against him by a team employee.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has asserted his desire to sign Verstappen amid Lewis Hamilton’s exit to Ferrari - but Verstappen has reaffirmed his commitment to Red Bull.

"That's why I, of course, signed the deal in the first place," he told media including RacingNews365.

“I'm happy within the team and of course, it's very important that we try and keep the key players in the team for a longer period of time, as that's where the performance is as well.

"At the end of the day, it's a performance business. It's the same as if I wouldn't perform, I wouldn't be sitting here, so I know how that works.

"But with the deal in place, it's also my intention to be here to the end. It would be a great story for me personally just to see it out to the end because it basically means I've been part of one family and one team.”

Red Bull tension

Verstappen pledged his loyalty to Helmut Marko at the previous round in Saudi Arabia amid reports the Austrian could be suspended by the team.

It is believed a clause exists in Verstappen’s contract that would allow him to depart should Marko exit the squad.

Tensions, however, appear to have cooled in the last two weeks, with Verstappen asserting the team is focused on results.

"We all want the same,” he said. “We just want to perform on track, so that's what we want to focus on as a team.

“The problem is that not only within the team, but from the outside, a lot of speculation is happening, and that is something you cannot control.

“The only thing you can control is focusing on the same direction within the team, and I feel that is what we are doing.”

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Verstappen staying distant

Verstappen added that he is keen to stay separate from the drama and ensure that he is performing strongly on the track.

"I don't want to be too involved with these kinds of things because at the end of the day I'm the driver, and I'm here to look at the performance side of things, to make sure that what I'm hired for,” he said.

"But from what I know, everything is handled in the right way. I'm not going to go into any further details from that side because I don't know more than that, and I also don't want to know because that's not my job, or my task within the team."

When asked if the Red Bull situation is a distraction for him, Verstappen replied: ”Not for me because I either easily switch off and on from F1.

“I don't really think about F1 too much anyway when I leave the paddock. I know what I have to do, but I also know with so many races in the year, it's very important to also just come home and think about other stuff and be busy, and working on other projects of mine that I have a lot of passion for.

"For me, it works like that. Every driver is a little bit different but for me, so far, with all the things that have been going on, it's very easy to jump back in the car and perform.”

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