Honda’s decision to part with Red Bull as their engine supplier after 2021 opened up Pandora’s box. Reports emerged claiming Max Verstappen has a clause in his contract, enabling him to leave the team if Honda and Red Bull part ways.
This led to widespread speculation that Verstappen could be switching teams and it’s no surprise that he’s got a long list of suitors. However, Team Principal Christian Horner has dismissed any such talks.
In a broadcast by Servus TV, quoted by PlanetF1, Horner poured cold water over the existence of the aforementioned clause. He said, “The contracts between the driver and the team are private. But there is certainly no clause related to the engine in the contract of Verstappen.”
Red Bull fans will be the most relieved to hear that Verstappen isn’t going anywhere. The Dutchman seems to be the team’s only hope of winning races and being a serial podium entrant.
With the new 2022 aerodynamic regulations coming in, if Red Bull can keep Verstappen with them then there is no telling just how far the team will go.
The new aerodynamic rules are claimed to be level the field and with a driver such as Verstappen in a car as good as the Red Bull, you wouldn’t bet against him winning the World Championship.
Despite news of Honda’s departure, Horner doesn’t think Verstappen’s mindset is likely to change; if anything, the Dutchman may be more motivated, considering that Honda are set to make their 2022 engine available as early as 2021.
He said, “He’s competitive, feels comfortable with the team, and is a firm believer in the Honda program. I think he also sees that Honda has moved the engine from 2022 to 2021. That is of course encouraging. So we will next year, take another step forward.
“He’s happy about it and there’s still a long way to go for him until 2022.”
Indeed, 2022 is a long way away. After all, we still have 7 races to close out the 2020 calendar. Can Verstappen take his second win of the season in Germany? Or will we see a disappointment akin to his DNF’s in Italy?
All will be revealed on the 11th of October at the Eifel Grand Prix.