Horner: No engine-related clause in Verstappen's contract

Red Bull has dismissed any talk that Honda's decision to quit Formula 1 at the end of 2021 means that Max Verstappen can trigger an exit clause in his contract.

Horner: No engine-related clause in Verstappen's contract
Listen to this article

Verstappen has pledged his future to Red Bull until the end of 2023, having originally joined the team in 2016 and winning his first race with the outfit at the Spanish GP that year.

But Honda's shock withdrawal fuelled speculation that it could give Red Bull a tough time in holding on to the Dutchman, with some claiming that the youngster could even have break clauses in his contract that are dependent on engine suppliers.

But team boss Christian Horner has rubbished any suggestion that Verstappen is questioning his future at the outfit, and says Honda's decision to bring forward plans for a new engine to the start of next year have actually increased optimism for the future.

"There is no such clause in his contract," Horner told Red Bull's ServusTV about the possibility of Verstappen walking.

"The contracts between the driver and the team are private, but there is definitely no engine-related clause in Max's contract.

"He is competitive. He feels very comfortable in the team and believes strongly in the Honda program. I think he also sees that Honda has brought forward the engine from 2022 to 2021. That is encouraging, of course.

"So we will take another step forward next year. He's excited about this, and he still has a long way to go until 2022."

Read Also:

While Red Bull has been aware of Honda's decision for some time, it has not yet opened any serious discussions with potential future engine suppliers.

The most likely avenue for the outfit is to renew a partnership with Renault, even though relations with the French car manufacturer in the past have been quite tense at times.

However, the arrival of new CEO Luca de Meo has triggered a change of atmosphere at the car maker and Horner has suggested his views of the company have changed.

"We must now start thinking about an engine partner for 2022," he said. "We need clarity by the end of the year.

"Of course we have to consider all possibilities, all options. But in the end, Mr.[Dietrich] Mateschitz must decide how to proceed. But it is important for us to have enough power to challenge Mercedes in the coming years.

"Of course I understand why people assume that we will talk to Renault. Since the separation, Renault has changed. The new board brings a lot of fresh wind and some changes. Things are moving forward."

While one avenue could be for Honda to provide the IP of its engine to Red Bull or another manufacturer, Horner is sceptical about that happening, or anyone else new coming in to F1.

"The cost of getting a new manufacturer on board under the current regulations is simply far too high," he said. "So there will be no new manufacturer until a new engine - possibly 2026 - comes on the market. The costs for development are enormously high.

"The FIA and Liberty have to get a grip on this. They have done a good job on the chassis. Now we need homologated engines and we also need budget caps for the power units."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 will soon be “the best it’s ever been”, says ex-Renault boss Bob Bell
Previous article

F1 will soon be “the best it’s ever been”, says ex-Renault boss Bob Bell

Next article

AMG to ramp up ties with Mercedes F1 team in 2021

AMG to ramp up ties with Mercedes F1 team in 2021
Load comments
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022