Max Verstappen has had a long association with Red Bull that is set to continue into this season as well. However, his contract includes clauses that allow him to leave Red Bull if they are not able to provide him with a good enough car. With Mercedes renewing Lewis Hamilton’s contract for just a year, they will have a very attractive option open for Verstappen for 2022 if they cannot renew Hamilton’s contract again. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has now spoken about this
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0:00 - Are Red Bull Afraid Of Losing Max Verstappen To Mercedes
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I'm your host Dillon Shelley and first up on Formula World:
Are Red Bull Afraid Of Losing Max Verstappen To Mercedes
Horner began by pointing out Red Bull’s progress by the end of last season
“We demonstrated at Abu Dhabi that Mercedes are beatable at a track they have been unbeaten at for the past six or seven years”
He emphasized the need for sustained performance
“We just need to be able to do that across the season. We are gathering momentum. Nobody has a crystal ball so we just need to do the best job we can”
He then accepted that Mercedes would be interested in Verstappen if Hamilton were to hang up his racing boots
“I am sure that should Lewis decide to stop then Max will naturally be the driver at the top of Mercedes’ list. They also have George Russell and other drivers available to them”
He then addressed the performance-related clauses in Max’s contract
“The reality is, that yes of course - as there has always been - an element of performance-related clauses to Max’s contract. But as with all these things, it is not about forcing a driver that doesn’t want to be there”
He signed off by being confident that Max is appreciative of Red Bull’s efforts
“It is more about relationships than contracts, and you only pull a contract out of the drawer when you have got a problem in my experience. The relationship with Max is very strong, he believes in the project, in what we are doing, and he sees the investment that Red Bull is making”
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has stated that “it is a one-off investment in the building and the test benches. The costs afterwards will not be higher than buying another engine. It costs more than what” they “do now, but not significantly”
Alpine have released a statement confirming that “Alonso has remained in hospital in Switzerland for observation. There the doctors found a fracture in his upper jaw and operated successfully. The team at the hospital is very pleased with his progress”
“Fernando will remain in hospital for the next 48 hours for observation. Looking ahead, after a few days of rest he will be able to resume training and” they “expect him to be fully fit for the preparation of the season”
Alonso, meanwhile, has stated that he is “ok and looking forward to getting 2021 underway”
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi has pointed out that “there is the unknown power unit” and they “hope that it will be better and allow” them “to have more fun”
He added that his “dream is to take Alfa Romeo to the podium and” he hopes “to do that. To achieve this”, he needs “a competitive car, luck and work”
He added that “there have been a lot of changes in the line-up and it will be a different World Championship because of that. All strong drivers and there will be an increasingly close fight”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed that they “are bracing” themselves “for a tough year”
He added that they “need to be realistic and not dream that all of a sudden everything will be good”
He further pointed out that they “took such a big step backwards last year”, they “have to make two forwards and that’s what” they’re doing
His driver Mick Schumacher feels that Steiner “is very direct. That is something that is positive” as “the direct way is always the easiest” as they can all be “on the same page and up to date”
Former F1 driver Robert Doornbos has suggested that “Mercedes of course started developing the car for this year quite early, but Red Bull could also start on time this time, as they finished second among the constructors quite easily”
He, therefore, doesn’t “expect Mercedes to go into the year very relaxed. But of course, they remain favorites”
Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton has stated that “one thing is for sure”, that he’ll be racing his “heart out for” the fans “this year!”
Former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa feels that Fernando Alonso “could win another world title, and there is a lot of enthusiasm for that”
Alpine director Laurent Rossi has stated that “Fernando [Alonso] has almost 20 years of experience in Formula 1 and his experience is invaluable for young drivers”
If Mercedes offered Verstappen a contract to replace an outgoing Hamilton, would he take it?
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