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Verstappen's contract unchanged by Austria win - Red Bull

Verstappen's contract unchanged by Austria win - Red Bull

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Verstappen's contract unchanged by Austria win - Red Bull

Verstappen's contract unchanged by Austria win - Red Bull

Max Verstappen's Red Bull future has not been impacted by his victory at the Austrian Grand prix, team principal Christian Horner says.

Reports before the Spielberg race raged about the exit clauses in Verstappen's deal, with Marca claiming that a failure to win before the summer break would leave him free to discuss deals with other teams.

Horner says that the win at the Red Bull Ring has changed nothing, but insists Verstappen would not look to leave regardless.

"There are performance criteria in all of the top drivers' contracts, which is probably mirrored in both Ferrari and Mercedes drivers' contracts as well," said Horner.

"The win in Austria doesn't change anything as far as we're concerned.

"And beyond contracts, if you're holding a driver just because of a piece of paper, that isn't the right relationship to have.

"Max genuinely believes in the project we have and the skillset we have in the team and the Honda progress and development.

"And he very much buys into that, irrelevant of any piece of paper. He enjoys being in the team and he believes in its potential."

Into his fifth season in F1, and third full campaign with Red Bull, Verstappen is yet to feature in a genuine title challenge and his six wins are paltry returns when compared to the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton at the same stage of their careers.

However, Horner hopes that Red Bull and Honda will provide the platform for Verstappen to compete in 2020 – a season which is his last to become the youngest champion in F1 history.

"That [power weakness] has been our Achilles' Heel since 2013," said Horner.

"For us, 2019 will be an evolving year. But our target is to be in the championship fight from the outset in 2020."

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