Max Verstappen has revealed that “no dangerous sports” in his spare time makes up a part of his Red Bull contract, with the three-time World Champion being kept in peak condition as much as possible by his team.
This is not unprecedented among elite sportspeople in their deals as their employers look to keep their prized assets fit and firing throughout the duration of their contracts, with footballers sometimes not exempt from having a clause such as this inserted – minimising the risk of injury.
While Verstappen has said he has not gone skiing for the past five years because of the risk attached to it, Red Bull made it clear they do not want him to take unnecessary risks with his body as part of their mega seven-year contract with him, which expires in 2028.
Max Verstappen avoiding ‘dangerous sports’ as part of Red Bull deal
Verstappen explained that he has decided against a winter break that involves sport that could cause injuries to him for the past several years and, while he said “there is a risk in everything”, he has opted to minimise any jeopardy where he can – and he admitted it is even written into his Red Bull deal.
“I haven’t skied for five years because of the risk of breaking or twisting something with all its consequences,” Verstappen explained to Formule1.nl.
“And of course also in the knowledge that there are still years to come in which I have a great chance to become champion again and win races.
“When you think about that, you automatically do take a little less risk.”
And when it was put to Verstappen that other athletes such as footballers often have it placed in their contracts that they aren’t allowed to ski because of the potential for injuries, Verstappen replied: “Me too. No dangerous sports.”
Verstappen had wanted to appear at the Red Bull Formula Nürburgring event last September, in which Sebastian Vettel had taken a Red Bull Formula 1 car around the infamous Nordschleife.
It later transpired that Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko had forbidden him from taking part, believing that it would have been “too dangerous” for him to do so as he would have wanted to chase the outright lap record at the ‘Green Hell’.
Verstappen confirmed as much, telling media at last year’s Canadian Grand Prix: “I wanted to do it, but I was not allowed by Helmut.
“He knew that I would try and go to the limits. I would have loved to do it.
“I didn’t want to start unnecessary issues. I heard this thing was coming up, and Helmut was sitting at the table when it came up, and he said: ‘No, no, no, you’re not doing that!’”