Christian Horner says Verstappen’s contract is not linked to Newey’s

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Adrian Newey’s exit from the team does not allow Max Verstappen to get out of his contract.

After the announcement of Adrian Newey’s departure from Red Bull, speculation has abounded over whether Max Verstappen could also be on his way out of the team.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has already stated that Max would be his first choice to replace Lewis Hamilton in 2025 and beyond. It has even been rumoured that Mercedes has approved a €150 million offer for the Dutch driver.

The problem is that Max has a contract with Red Bull until the end of 2028, however, he already stared that he has a clause that allows him to leave, if the team’s advisor Dr Helmut Marko exits the team.

Because of this, some have speculated that he might also have a similar clause in the case of Newey’s departure.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, however, says Newey’s exit will not impact Verstappen’s future.

“You report those rumblings every week, but he’s still here, and that makes us very happy in the team,” the Briton said.

“He’s got a wonderful group of engineers around him, he’s got a great car, the best car on the grid. He’s driving in the form of his life.

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“And it’s not about contracts, it’s about being content. That’s the same for any driver.

“He has that, he has that dynamic around him and I think that what you’re seeing with him is a driver that’s revelling in that environment.”

When asked point blank if Verstappen’s future is tied to Newey’s, Horner said:

“No. Max’s contract is obviously always going to remain confidential, but there’s no clauses with Adrian that link Adrian in any way to Max.

“They’ve enjoyed a good relationship over the years, as have our, obviously, previous drivers.

“But Max as well understands that there’s been a planning process to this, and it’s not just a knee-jerk.

“And so, the structure will not change with Adrian stepping back,” he concluded.

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