Red Bull rules out Verstappen exit before end 2020

Date published: August 3 2019

Max Verstappen PA

Red Bull advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, does not envisage Max Verstappen leaving the team prior to the 2021 overhaul despite more talk about the Dutchman’s future.

Talk of seeing Lewis Hamilton v Max Verstappen has dominated much of the build-up to the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend with both sides giving their thoughts on a potential team-mate battle.

Hamilton would love the chance to prove that he is not just quicker than Verstappen because he has a better car, while Verstappen feels Hamilton has not faced big pressure before from his former and current team-mates.

But anyone who has hope of seeing this potential match-up are going to have to wait a while, according to the latest quotes from Marko.

“Max wants to win so he is satisfied and happy when he’s winning,” Marko said via Sky Sports Italia at the Hungaroring.

“But he sees the progress what we are doing and, as it looks, he has to stay with us anyway.

“I don’t think next year [he will leave] and we have to see how the progress from the Honda side is and the progress from the chassis side.

“But we are looking good here and we won two races and in Silverstone we were unlucky, otherwise we would have finished second. So we are in a good route and getting more and more competitive.”

Red Bull boss was also in no mood to entertain any rumours about Verstappen leaving the team any time soon.

“Max is very comfortable in the team, we love having him in the team, and the rest is fairly irrelevant,” Horner simply said to Sky Sports.

He then added in the FIA team principal’s press conference: “Toto has certainly not spoken to me about it.

“He speaks to almost every driver on the grid, so I would think if he has had a conversation it’s been direct not through the team.

“The situation with Max is clear and as with other drivers there are always trigger points. But in terms of having those two  [Hamilton and Verstappen] in one team, I haven’t heard from Lewis either that he wants to join next year.

“You can see positives and negative in that.

“I think that ideally we want to see teams going head to head and the drivers are obviously very much part of that team. It would be great to see Ferrari with their drivers, Red Bull with our drivers and Mercedes with their drivers all fighting it out, and whoever else can get up there as well.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that two drivers have to be in the same team.”

Verstappen is officially contracted to the Red Bull until the end of the 2020 season.

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