Max Verstappen Holds the Key to Red Bull’s F1 Future

Published 03/03/2020, 11:26 AM EST


The 2020 Formula One season is really important for all teams, as their performance can determine the grid for 2021. For Red Bull in particular, it was even more important, because of Max Verstappen. Before he signed a long-term contract, the Austrian outfit was considering its future in Formula One.

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When he spoke during the filming of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, team principal Christian Horner confessed the same. After a year in Toro Rosso, Max Verstappen earned a promotion to Red Bull, five races into the 2016 season. To make matters even sweeter, he took a maiden win on his debut at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Since then, he has emerged as Red Bull’s star driver and team leader, since 2019. Over the course of his F1 career, Max Verstappen grabbed three race wins and two pole positions.

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Although he penned a new contract earlier this year, there is a massive question mark about his long term future. There is a real chance that he could walk away if Red Bull cannot provide him with a title-challenging car.

Will Max Verstappen stay loyal or will he leave the nest?

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In the face of all these doubts, Horner questioned Red Bull’s future in the pinnacle of motorsport. Their situation will be all the more difficult if their star man jumped ship or if their relationship with Honda does not work out.

“The reality is, Red Bull make an energy drink worldwide,” Horner said during filming for Drive to Survive. “Formula 1 is a platform to promote and advertise it. If this new relationship with Honda doesn’t work, if we lose Max Verstappen, then you’d have to question Red Bull’s long-term commitment to Formula 1.”

In addition to that, Red Bull’s options are very limited, in terms of replacing a driver of Verstappen’s calibre. In F1, their options would be between Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly, while Alexander Albon would have to step up as the leader.

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Although Red Bull have made a few recruitments to their driver academy, none of them have a superlicense yet. Thus, they are not ready to make the leap up to the big leagues.

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Dhruv George

11625 articles

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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