Marko admits Max has release clause in new contract

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen listens to Helmut Marko. Barcelona Februrary 2022.

Max Verstappen in conversation with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko during testing. Barcelona February 2022.

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko has confirmed Max Verstappen has an exit clause in his lengthy new contract.

Off the back of winning his first Drivers’ title in 2021, Verstappen put pen to paper on new terms with Red Bull ahead of the 2022 season.

By Formula 1’s standards, it was a record agreement with Verstappen committing to Red Bull to the end of 2028.

In the current climate it definitely makes sense with Red Bull providing the machinery to capture the title in 2021, while Verstappen appears to very much be in the running to retain his place at the top of the sport in 2022.

But if Red Bull were to slip back down the pecking order during Verstappen’s current contract, Marko has confirmed a release clause is in the deal.

Max Verstappen's Red Bull RB18. Jeddah March 2022.
Overhead front-on view of Max Verstappen's Red Bull RB18. Jeddah March 2022.

“Of course. If we experience a ‘crash’ like in 2014, when we had absolutely no chance against Mercedes on the engine side, then it’s clear there is an escape clause,” Marko confirmed in an interview with

When Channel 4 asked Verstappen why he had committed to Red Bull for so many years to come, he explained that as well as feeling great loyalty towards the team that brought him into Formula 1, he also feels very comfortable there.

In addition, his belief in the project led to claiming the title in 2021, so with the good times still rolling and the pressure of becoming World Champion now lifted, Verstappen saw no reason to consider a change of scenery.


When asked what had made him commit to Red Bull for so long, Verstappen replied: “I feel really well in the team and I think that is already very important.

“And I always felt loyalty because of the opportunity they gave me in Formula 1.

“And then we had always the same goal. I always believed in the project and luckily that paid off last year and it also kind of takes the pressure off a little bit, the needing to win that title.

“We did it now and I trust in the people around me. I have a good time with them, there is no reason to change that.”


Verstappen has escape clause in Red Bull deal

Helmut Marko has said Max Verstappen is able to get out of his Red Bull deal, in specific circumstances.