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Helmut Marko

Why Marko is unconcerned by Verstappen's Red Bull exit clause

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has reiterated that Max Verstappen has an exit clause from his long-term deal with the team, but he isn't concerned that the Dutch driver may ever opt to use it.

Verstappen win Imola
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Helmut Marko believes that Max Verstappen isn't a flight risk to the likes of the Mercedes team, even if he ever opted to make use of the get-out clause in his contract.

Coming into the 2022 season, Verstappen signed a new long-term deal with Red Bull that will keep the reigning World Champion at the team until the end of the 2028 campaign.

Ferrari also have a long-term deal in place with Charles Leclerc - until 2026 - but it is Mercedes that could prove to be an interesting proposition for Verstappen should Red Bull's form take a dip.

Lewis Hamilton's current contract expires at the end of 2023, with the seven-time World Champion edging close to the age of 40 by that time.

Could Verstappen be tempted away?

German publication F1-Insider has reported that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has taken the initial step towards reconciliation between his team and the Verstappens.

According to a report ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, Wolff approached Jos Verstappen for a handshake and a brief conversation during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend.

Verstappen confirmed to the publication that it was the first contact between the pair since the infamous collision involving his son and Hamilton at Silverstone in the summer of 2021.

Marko doesn't believe that Verstappen will ever have his head turned by Mercedes, though, even if Wolff were to dangle a big contract in his face should Hamilton choose to walk away at the end of 2023.

What are the performance clauses?

"There are performance clauses in the contract that could theoretically allow Max to exit," Marko confirmed.

These performance clauses are believed to be linked to Red Bull's standing in the championship, which could include stipulations such as finishing in the top three in the Constructors' Championship, or even a minimum number of podium finishes being achieved.

But Marko isn't concerned about Red Bull failing to meet these standards.

"A lot would have to happen. And Max is still not a Mercedes fan," he said.

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