Marko Admits Red Bull Caught Out by Mercedes’ Hamilton Extension – “For Tactical Reasons”

Published 07/10/2021, 2:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner


Earlier ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, Lewis Hamilton inked a new contract extension. In light of that, some wondered about Max Verstappen’s chances of a future Mercedes seat. However, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko shut down such speculations. Of course, Mercedes would only be too thrilled to have a young talented driver like Verstappen in their stable.

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However, he did admit that the announcement timing caught the team off guard. He said, “It was already clear that the contract extension was coming. But we thought for tactical reasons that the announcement would only come at Silverstone. We are only too happy to take on a worthy opponent. A two-year contract also shows a certain degree of stability.”

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Of course, there has been so much talk about that coveted second Mercedes seat. Will Valtteri Bottas hang onto it by his fingernails for one more year? Or will Mercedes finally decide to promote George Russell on a more permanent basis? On an even more fantastical note, will Mercedes be able to tempt Max Verstappen from Red Bull?

Will Red Bull let go of Max Verstappen?

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For obvious reasons, the Austrian outfit will not want to let go of their star driver so easily. The Dutchman is already firmly in the driving seat for the 2021 championship. This is largely because he has been in a great run of form in the last few races right from Monaco until the Austria double-header.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Naturally, the Mercedes team and Lewis Hamilton will not take this lying down. The team and driver will be keen to wrest back control from the Bulls and stop their rampage. Without a doubt, Red Bull and Verstappen will be the biggest threats to Lewis Hamilton’s quest for a record-breaking 8th F1 world championship. The big question now is, can Mercedes catch them or will Red Bull deliver Verstappen’s maiden title?

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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