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.

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