Red Bull: Max Verstappen is a pawn on a wider strategic chessboard

F1 – There is always a way out. There is always a loophole you can take, even in the most solid relationship. Even in the longest continuous bond in the history of Formula One. Exactly one month, it was the third of March, Max Verstappen and the Red Bull they announced a monstrous contractual extension in terms of duration and, obviously, on the remuneration front.

I really enjoy being part of the team, choosing to stay until the 2028 season was an easy decision to make. I love this team and last season was just incredible. Our goal, ever since we joined in 2016, has been to win the championship and we did it“. Thus spoke the Dutch who should receive over 40 million euros per year.

In the first sentence of the above statements there is the possible trick. As long as the world champion has fun, that is, as long as he has a car that is truly up to the task, the bond is free to continue. In case the Red Bull should it offer a means not up to par due to certain circumstances then there is the possibility of questioning the marriage. Up to the cancellation.

Max Verstappen (Oracle Red Bull Racing)

It is always straightforward and sincere Helmut Marko to confirm the presence of a “exit strategy” that Verstappen could trigger if the team were to plunge, at any moment, into a technical abyss like the one they fell into 2014 when the new turbo-hybrid powertrain rules broke the men’s empire of Milton Keynes which came from four consecutive constructors ‘titles and as many drivers’ championships won with Sebastian Vettel.

A safeguard clause whose details, of course, were not disclosed by the super-consultant of Dietrich Mateschitz, the reserved owner of the team and the brand that gives him his name. The current season, the first in which the Honda begins his gradual process of disengagement, he does not see the team having suffered the blow after the regulatory upheaval.

Front view of the Japanese powerplant (Honda RA620H) fitted to Austrian Red Bull Racing cars during the 2021 season.

The fears they brought Max the request to introduce a legal protection notice are related to 2026that is when there will be yet another regulatory change that this time will touch the power unit. For that date HRC it will be totally out of the blueprint F1 and the baton will pass entirely to the ward powertrains which is growing a Milton Keynes. It is switch motorsport is the moment that the Dutchman underlined and that could upset the balance of power that is emerging at the dawn of this new technical era.

Also because there is the possibility that the engine department in which many technicians from Sakurain addition to about fifty “torn” from the Mercedes High Performance Powertrains directed by Hywel Thomaspasses under the control of Volkswagen about to enter F1 with important investments and above all with the desire to win right away (read here).

Carlos Sainz (Scuderia Ferrari) and Checo Perez (Oracle Red Bull Racing) paired after the Ferrari driver’s pit stop

But the reality can be quite different and that knows it Honda which took more than five years to climb to the top of the world. Verstappen is an important pawn for the Red Bull and the producers of power unit they will be interested in having such a strong and recognizable driver from a marketing point of view. Marko he stressed that the renewal should also be read in this key. That is to make it clear to those who are persuaded to supply engines that in the team there is a high-ranking driver up to 2028.

In Red Bulltherefore, we are operating on a double track. On the one hand on the technical one in the development and in the need, we have given you with in this in-depth study (read here), to make the RB18 to give it a handling on the other hand on the political-strategic one that serves to define long-term agreements to give stability to a team that has always been able to ride the wave by adapting to the different regulatory eras without sinking into sports underworld as happened to more noble and noble teams Such as, Williams And McLaren who still struggle to find a dimension after long years of semi-oblivion.

F1-Author: Diego Catalano @ diegocat1977

Photo: F1, Oracle Red Bull Racing

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