F1: Verstappen puts in hard graft ahead of new season
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Max Verstappen has detailed two main reasons which may dictate whether he leaves Red Bull in the near future. Verstappen signed a new long-term contract with Red Bull at the start of 2020, but reports have suggested that he has an exit clause that could see him have the option to leave at the end of this season.
It’s been reported that if Verstappen isn’t given a title-contending car by Red Bull, then he would have the option to leave.
But Red Bull have already shown signs of closing the gap to Mercedes through the opening four races of the 2021 season with Verstappen just 14 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.
There’s still 19 races scheduled from now until the end of the season though with plenty more twists and turns expected.
For Verstappen, he’s searching for his first world championship win and appears confident that Red Bull can at least challenge this season.
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But he’s also faced some question marks over his future at Red Bull due to the reported exit clause in his contract.
It’s led to some suggestions of Mercedes forming a super team comprised of Verstappen and Hamilton for 2022 and beyond.
Christian Horner has also admitted previously that Verstappen would be “top of the list” for Mercedes heading into next year.
Red Bull will be keen to keep Verstappen on board for the foreseeable future though with the Dutchman regarded by some as the most talented driver on the grid.
And the 23-year-old has opened up on what Red Bull must do to keep him from looking elsewhere.
When asked by Racing News whether he could see himself staying at Red Bull for the whole of his career, Verstappen said: “That could well be.
“It depends on how long we are competitive and how long I am competitive myself, of course.
“Winning motivates me, or rather just the chance to win.”
Verstappen turns 24 years of age this summer with plenty more years in F1 to come – and expectations for multiple world championships.
But Verstappen concedes that all depends on the car at his disposal and if he got to a point later in his career where he wasn’t racing at the front then he’d decide to call it a day.
“Then at some point I’ll be done with it,” he said.
“Of course, it is a completely different story if you are fighting for the top positions.
“If I were to drive at the back, then there would come a time when I wouldn’t feel like doing it.”
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