Perez judges impact of Verstappen Red Bull departure

Sergio Perez has insisted Max Verstappen’s departure would be a “blow” for Red Bull despite the team’s current “very strong position”.

Dutchman Verstappen’s future has been called into question as part of the ongoing off-track saga triggered by allegations against team principal Christian Horner.

With motorsport advisor Helmut Marko at one stage facing an uncertain future with the team, Verstappen – who has declared loyalty to the Austrian – became the centre of rumours linking him with a move away from the Milton Keynes-based outfit despite holding a contract that lasts until the end of 2028.

It is understood a clause exists that allows Verstappen to leave should Marko depart. Asked whether a similar clause existed in his contract, Perez told media including RacingNews365: “I don’t have that clause, I don’t know what clause Max has in his contract. It is best to ask him.

“Max, as far as I know, has a contract with the team and is fully committed to the team.

“The rest, it is not for me to comment. It is nothing to do with me. I am focusing on my decisions and what I have to do and I think for us to be talking about other drivers when we don’t know any facts… I don’t see any point in doing so.”

‘A blow if Max were to leave’

Verstappen’s name has been linked with the vacant Mercedes seat, a position created by Lewis Hamilton’s end-of-season move to Ferrari.

But that would be despite the Dutchman’s immense record with Red Bull over the past three years which has seen him pick up the F1 record for most wins in a single season in the last two campaigns.

On how the dynamic would change if Verstappen left Red Bull, Perez replied: “The team is in a very strong position.

“With the results we are having and the harmony there is in the team, to achieve that, it takes a lot of years.

“Right now, everyone in the team is working really well together, the whole engineering group is really united and you can see that on track and how efficient we have been.

“So I don’t see any reason to change it. It would obviously be a blow for the team if Max were to leave.”


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