Max Verstappen has an escape clause in his new long-term Red Bull contract, it has been revealed.
The reigning F1 champion signed the longest driver agreement in history a month ago, putting pen to paper on a lucrative deal through to the end of 2028.
But advisor Helmut Marko has confirmed Verstappen could leave if the team's form plummets at any point over the next few years, as was the case in 2014 following its run of four successive drivers' and constructors' championships.
Speaking to German publication Formel1, Marko said: "If Red Bull experiences a kind of crash, just like in 2014, then there is, of course, an escape clause."
Verstappen a key piece in Red Bull's "chess game"
Marko refused to go into detail about the exact nature of the clause but has no doubt Verstappen's commitment to Red Bull is the perfect lure for Audi or Porsche.
Porsche has been linked as a potential partner for Red Bull once the new power unit regulations kick in from 2026, with parent company the Volkswagen Group soon due to reveal its intentions for both manufacturers.
"Max is an important link in the chess game," added Marko. "It is not surprising manufacturers take this into account.
"It was important for Red Bull to be able to say we have committed the best driver to our team until 2028.
"If you have someone like Max, it has a positive effect on the rest of the team and team partners."
As to who may partner with Red Bull, Marko added: "It's still open. It makes sense we are the most attractive partner for manufacturers."