Max Verstappen has ESCAPE clause in £40m-a-year F1 contract, confirms Red Bull chief

MAX VERSTAPPEN has an escape clause in his £40million-a-year Formula One contract, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has revealed.

The Dutchman, 24, won his first F1 world title last year, beating seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in controversial fashion on the final lap of the season.


Verstappen was quickly rewarded with a new £40m-a-year contract which has him tied to Red Bull until after his 30th birthday.

But according to Red Bull chief Marko, Verstappen has an escape clauseif there is a "crash" similar to the one experienced in 2014, when Mercedes dominated the grid.

Speaking to Formel1.de, Marko said: "Of course. If we experience a 'crash' like in 2014, when we had absolutely no chance against Mercedes on the engine side, then it's clear there is an escape clause.

"Max is an important link in the chess game.

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"It is not surprising that manufacturers take this into account.

"It was therefore important for Red Bull to be able to say that we have committed the best driver to our team until 2028.

"If you have someone like Max in the ranks, it has a positive effect on the rest of the team and the team partners."

However, after two races of the 2022 season, it looks like it will be Mercedes who struggle to compete with both Red Bull AND Ferrari much faster so far.

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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc won the season opener in Bahrain, whilst faults with both Red Bull cars saw Verstappen and Sergio Perez fail to register points.

Verstappen then won the next race in Saudi Arabia, edging out Leclerc with a few laps to go, whilst Mercedes duo George Russell and Hamilton placed fifth and tenth respectively.

F1 will be back in action this weekend for the Australian Grand Prix.

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