Helmut Marko On Red Bull's Season: Max Verstappen's Contract Clauses Spark Concerns

" If Max no longer sees a light on the horizon with Red Bull and performance criteria start to play a role, it is clear that he will also start looking around him."- Marko said.

by Sead Dedovic
Helmut Marko On Red Bull's Season: Max Verstappen's Contract Clauses Spark Concerns
© Mark Thompson / Getty Images Sport

The future of Max Verstappen is uncertain, given that his contract includes clauses allowing him to leave the Red Bull team if he chooses. The Dutchman has had three impressive seasons, especially the last one where he appeared unstoppable.

Verstappen intends to replicate his success this season, but there is concern among Red Bull fans about what could happen if he doesn't have a competitive car to fight for the championship. Helmut Marko, the director of Red Bull Formula 1, emphasized in a media interview that Verstappen's contract includes numerous clauses. 

The crucial point is to provide him with a car that can compete at the top. If Verstappen doesn't have a competitive car, there is a chance he might leave Red Bull and seek opportunities elsewhere. For now, such an option doesn't seem realistic, considering Red Bull's dominance season after season. This season will be a good indicator of Red Bull's standing.

"In every Formula One contract there are certain clauses. That also applies to Max's contract. I just don't think an astronomical amount of money is a theme for him. We have to provide him with a winning car.

Of course, he is interested in success as a driver. Max is not getting any younger. If Max no longer sees a light on the horizon with Red Bull and performance criteria start to play a role, it is clear that he will also start looking around him."- Marko told Servus TV, as quoted by Express!

Sergio Perez's future is also uncertain, as the Mexican could part ways with Red Bull at the end of this season. After an unsuccessful season that started promising but ended less positively, Perez is motivated to correct mistakes and achieve a positive result this season. 

Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez
Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez© Mark Thompson / Getty Images Sport

Statements from Mercedes executives may have shaken Sergio Perez's confidence. Despite it all, he is mentally strong, with the motivation to prove himself and show that he is a driver ready for great achievements. 

In spite of everything, most F1 fans are not optimistic that Perez will remain part of this team in the seasons ahead. Helmut Marko emphasized in a media interview that it's all up to Perez now. 

If he demonstrates that he deserves a place with his results, then he surely has a chance to stay with the team. If he performs similarly poorly as in the previous season, it will be challenging to secure a new contract. Checo is someone with great qualities, but many factors certainly influenced his underwhelming performance in the 2023 season.

“Perez has to get Max out of his head and run his own program,”- Marko said.

“Perez still has a contract for 2024. It’s up to him now. If he drives in a similar form to the way he competed the last few races (of 2023), we can easily start talking about an extension.”

Helmut Marko shared his happiness regarding his team's performance on the first day in Bahrain, describing it as "very, very, very impressive." The team completed 142 laps without major issues, and Marko mentioned that the car is responding well to changes, indicating successful development. He emphasized the positive outcome of fine-tuning, where the adjustments made were effective, bringing smiles to everyone involved. 

Helmut Marko comments on the other teams and their chances

Red Bull aims to be equally successful as in the past seasons and demonstrate that they are still a team that stands out from the competition. Several teams want to disrupt their plans, but it is unlikely that they will succeed, at least according to the analysis of an F1 expert. Each season brings something new: new surprises, new excitement, and new names. That's one of the reasons why we love this sport so much. Over the past three seasons, one thing has remained the same: Red Bull has been the champion! Verstappen intends to achieve the same success this year, and we will see if he can accomplish his goal.

Helmut Marko did not forget to comment on his rivals, who have been diligently working on preparing their new cars. Marko emphasized that during each season, certain risks are sometimes hard to assess. 

It is during the season that you can best feel where you made mistakes and what crucial changes need to be made. Observing other teams, Marko noted that Ferrari has more issues than Red Bull when it comes to tire performance. 

The experienced Red Bull team director also monitored McLaren and sensed a bit of nervousness from them. As for Mercedes, it's challenging for him to assess their current standing, but it's noticeable that they have made progress. Marko remains firmly convinced that his team can replicate success this season.

Helmut Marko Red Bull Max Verstappen