While Max Verstappen has extended his F1 contract with Red Bull until 2023, his manager Raymond Vermeulen believes that everything went very fast for such a long term deal.
In order to avoid taking the risk of losing Max Verstappen, whose name was circulated on the Mercedes side to replace Lewis Hamilton in 2021, Red Bull decided to protect the Dutch driver who extended his lease until 2023.
Marko was quoted as saying recently:
“At the moment we have that with Honda. I am also optimistic that they will continue.” when asked about Verstappen’s performance clauses. In essence, Red Bull must provide the Dutchman a competitive engine, he is free to go if not.
It does appear that the negotiation was very fast on the part of Verstappen as his manager, Raymond Vermeulen, reveals:
“Max, Jos and I agreed fairly quickly that this was the best choice. We had our first conversation about this during a dinner with Helmut (Marko) in Brazil.
“After that it was a classic process. We had several internal discussions about the short, medium and long term vision. But we have full confidence in Honda’s development. The story is still unfinished between Red Bull and Honda.
“Red Bull helped us get into Formula One and we also have a fantastic business partnership, but the most important thing is to win. Max also feels like a fish in water with this team so extending was the right option,” clarifies Vermeulen.
Could Max still be available in 2021?
Some have commented that the deal that Verstappen has done would’ve dampened the driver market down a little, but Former Formula 1 driver Mika Salo, doesn’t believe so.
“It really doesn’t change anything,” Salo is quoted as having told Finnish outlet C More. “It was quite expected that Max would stay there.
“Everything else is still open. Pretty much everyone else’s contract is ending.” says Salo.
The ex F1 driver is obviously thinking too that all contracts of this kind always have a performance clause included. Indeed Verstappen had a performance clause last year that was nearly activated had Honda and Red Bull not got on top of their early season issues.
Therefore, we might well see Verstappen legally breaking contract for 2021 if the Red Bull Honda partnership fails to deliver this season.