Red Bull F1 team now "totally relaxed" about keeping Max Verstappen

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is now "totally relaxed" about Max Verstappen's future at the squad, despite worries earlier in the 2019 Formula 1 season about losing him

Red Bull F1 team now "totally relaxed" about keeping Max Verstappen

While Verstappen's current contract runs until the end of 2020, there are performance clauses that could allow him to leave earlier if certain targets are not reached.

The exact details of those performance marks have not been revealed, but it is likely that it relates to Verstappen being in a set position in the drivers' championship by the summer break.

Should that requirement be for third place, then Verstappen is currently in the target position and 21 points clear of fourth-placed Sebastian Vettel - meaning only a freak set of circumstances would prevent him from being in that slot after this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix

But even if Verstappen might still have a theoretical way out of Red Bull, Horner said the Dutchman taking his second win of 2019 in last weekend's race in Germany left him with no concerns about next season.

That is a much more confident stance than Red Bull had prior to Verstappen's win in Austria at the end of June, when the firm's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko confessed to being "worried" he would leave.

Asked by Autosport if he was now convinced Verstappen would stay for 2020, Horner replied: "I'm totally relaxed about it.

"Max is enjoying driving in the team. He sees the progress we are making.

"I don't see any risk with that and I think we just have got to keep focusing on getting performance from the car at the halfway stage of the championship now.

"We've won two races, and we've had a couple of other podiums."

Horner described the changeable conditions in Germany as ideal hunting ground for Verstappen.

"He has a great natural feeling in car control, and I think he enjoys those conditions," Horner said.

"He always excels in them and he's got such confidence in the car.

"He's able to do things and manage tyres at the same time. It's extremely impressive."

While Red Bull is now confident of retaining Verstappen, the identity of his team-mate remains uncertain.

Pierre Gasly has struggled in the second Red Bull so far and is 107 points and three places behind Verstappen in the standings at present.

Though Marko ruled out Gasly being dropped before the end of the 2019 season, the impressive form of Hockenheim podium finisher Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso has placed him under more pressure.

shares
comments
Behind the scenes of Formula 1's first standing restart in Germany

Previous article

Behind the scenes of Formula 1's first standing restart in Germany

Next article

Villeneuve: Red Bull F1 should look past Kvyat if it replaces Gasly

Villeneuve: Red Bull F1 should look past Kvyat if it replaces Gasly
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021