Marko on Verstappen escape clause: 'McLaren boss is a specialist in that'

16-05-2021 15:29 | Updated: 16-05-2021 16:32
Marko on Verstappen escape clause: 'McLaren boss is a specialist in that'

Helmut Marko thinks Max Verstappen has never been as mature as he is now. The Red Bull Racing chief also says that the RB16B will continue to be developed over the next few weeks and he also talks about Verstappen's contract situation and possible escape clauses.

Verstappen matured

"Max is more relaxed than he has been in a long time. The only time he wasn't relaxed was during qualifying [in Portimao] because he was on pole and they took that away from him," Marko said in conversation with According to the 77-year-old Austrian, this year we are seeing the most mature Verstappen ever.

An example of this is during the free practice on Friday before the Grand Prix at the circuit for Imola. "He had a problem with the driveshaft. In the past, he would have screamed like a rat. So he's become a lot more mature," he explained to the German medium.

Choosing between 2021 and 2022?

The question, of course, is when Red Bull will decide to stop developing the RB16B in order to focus fully on building the 2022 car. At least for now, the Milton Keynes-based team thinks it's too early to tie that knot. "Well, we're certainly not BMW, where [in 2008] they said their plan is to be world champion only next year. We don't have that mindset. We have plans until the summer holidays and then we will see where we are."

Verstappen is currently second in the world championship, fourteen points off leader Lewis Hamilton. So if the gap is too big, Red Bull can decide to move on to next year. In any case, this is not an issue until August. And what about Verstappen's commitment? There are clauses in the contract which should make an early departure possible.

Marko responds to McLaren boss

"That's what Zak Brown, among others, is a specialist in," Marko laughs at the McLaren boss' earlier statements. The Red Bull advisor continued: "That doesn't play a part in the contract situation, but of course it's important. He has been driving for a relatively long time and has always driven with inferior material. Now, thanks to Honda, things have improved. Ferrari also had a superior period, but that was for different reasons. In the hybrid era, the Mercedes engine has been absolutely dominant."

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