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No Red Bull contract escape clause for Verstappen with Honda exit

No Red Bull contract escape clause for Verstappen with Honda exit

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No Red Bull contract escape clause for Verstappen with Honda exit

No Red Bull contract escape clause for Verstappen with Honda exit

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has again been forced to dismiss the latest escape-clause theory relating to Max Verstappen's contract.

Prior to the last race in Russia, Horner refuted speculation suggesting Verstappen would be allowed to leave if the team failed to reach certain performance targets this season

On this occasion, there has been conjecture that with Honda quitting F1 at the end of 2021, this provides Verstappen with a window of opportunity to leave Red Bull earlier than contracted. The 23-year-old signed an extension through to 2023 at the start of this year.

But a dismissive Horner, speaking on ServusTV, said: "Firstly there is no such clause in his contract. The contracts are private between a driver and the team but there is no engine-related clause in Max's agreement."

Additional rumours are rife that Red Bull could yet take over the engine programme, utilising the current Honda system, and handing over responsibility for development to Mugen Euro, based just five miles away from the team's Milton Keynes headquarters.

Expanding on Verstappen's commitment to the team, Horner added: "He's competitive, he feels very much home in the team and he's been a big believer in the Honda programme.

"He also sees Honda has brought forward the engine from 2022 to 2021, which is really encouraging.

"What we should have is a competitive engine, he's excited about that, but 2022 is, for him, still a long way away."

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