Max Verstappen's new contract contains 'escape clause', says Red Bull chief
Verstappen could be given a chance to leave Red Bull if results turn sour
Max Verstappen's new contract contains an 'escape clause' which will allow him to leave Red Bull if the team struggled to compete in the title race in the future, Helmut Marko has revealed.
Verstappen signed a new deal last month worth a reported £40m a year which will keep him at Red Bull until beyond his 30th birthday.
Verstappen could be allowed to leave if Red Bull ever fell behind in the title race
The 24-year-old is the reigning champion following his dramatic last race victory against Hamilton in Abu Dhabi but Red Bull boss Marko is aware that they wouldn't be able to stand in Verstappen's way if there is a 'crash' similar to the one experienced in 2014, when Mercedes dominated the grid ahead of Red Bull.
"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," he told Formel1.de.
Marko also highlighted Verstappen's significance to the Red Bull team and said that by having someone of the Dutchman's calibre amongst their ranks, it increases the chances of other manufacturers wanting to partner alongside them.
"Max is an important link in the chess game," he added.
"It is not surprising that manufacturers take this into account. It was therefore important for Red Bull to be able to say that we have committed the best driver to our team until 2028.
"If you have someone like Max in the ranks, it has a positive effect on the rest of the team and the team partners."
Verstappen has already one won race this season
Verstappen is looking to reclaim his crown after his maiden victory last season but it appears he may have a new title competitor on the block in the shape of Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.
Both drivers have won one race each this season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and will prepare to lock horns again this weekend at the Australian Grand Prix.
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