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Verstappen: My Red Bull F1 future could rest on Marko’s fate

It emerged in Saudi Arabia on Friday that Marko is at risk of being suspended by the energy drinks company amid a fresh investigation into recent leaks to the media.

It is understood that the Austrian Red Bull company is looking into how information relating to the confidential investigation into team principal Christian Horner’s behaviour was released to journalists during what was supposed to be a total media blackout throughout the company.

While Marko remains employed by Red Bull and is in Saudi Arabia, he told Austrian broadcaster ORF that there was a chance he could be suspended from Monday and be absent from this month’s Australian Grand Prix.

Asked if he could face suspension, Marko said: “The theoretical possibility always exists.”

But with developments in the ongoing Horner saga appearing to be far from over, now Red Bull driver Verstappen has escalated things further by indicating that he will not accept Marko being out of the team.

It had been widely speculated in recent days that Verstappen’s contract has a clause that would allow him to become a free agent if Marko left, and he has now revealed that he has told the team his future at the squad rests on what happens.

Speaking after grabbing pole position at the Jeddah circuit about whether Marko’s fate could impact his own future, Verstappen said: “I have a lot of respect for Helmut and what we have achieved together.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“My loyalty to him is very big, and also I have always expressed this to everyone within the team, everyone high up, that he is an important part in my decision making for all the time in the future as well within the team.

“So, it is very important he stays within the team, including of course everyone else because it is a whole team effort.”

Verstappen said that if there was any risk of the team’s senior management being overhauled in the wake of the ongoing situation at Red Bull, then that could well make him think he is better off elsewhere.

“It is very important we keep the key people together because I feel if such an important pillar falls away, that’s also what I’ve said to the team, that is not good for my situation as well. So yeah, for sure, for me, Helmut has to stay.

“He has built this team together with Dietrich [Mateschitz] from day one. And he’s always been very loyal to the team, to everyone within the team, to make sure that everyone would keep their positions already from back in the day.

“I think it’s also very important, of course, that you give the man a lot of respect for what he has done. And that comes back also to loyalty, you know, and integrity. So, yeah, for sure, it’s important that he stays part of the team, also for me.”

Verstappen’s declaration that there is a possibility he could leave if Marko departs will be of big interest to Mercedes, which has set its sights on trying to lure the Dutchman for next year.

The German manufacturer is searching for a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, who is joining Ferrari in 2025, and is well aware of the speed and marketing presence that Verstappen would bring.

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This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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