Verstappen can escape long-term contract if Red Bull 'crash' - Marko

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Max Verstappen can escape his current long-term contract if Red Bull "crash", Helmut Marko has revealed.

Fresh from claiming his first Drivers' Championship in 2021, the Dutchman signed a new deal with the Milton Keynes-based outfit until 2028, the longest of any driver on the grid.

If Verstappen was to see that contract out, he would have been at Red Bull for 12 years, the longest any driver has stayed at one team in Formula 1 history.

But Marko admits that scenario is dependent on Red Bull remaining competitive.

“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,” he said in an interview with

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Thankfully for both sides, Verstappen and Red Bull have remained at the front under Formula 1's new regulations for 2022 with two wins, despite a few reliability gremlins in the opening races.

And while many drivers have sought challenges at other teams during their career, the 24-year-old explained why he is so committed to Red Bull.

“I feel really well in the team and I think that is already very important," he told Channel 4.

"I always felt loyalty because of the opportunity they gave me in Formula 1.

“And then we had always the same goal. I always believed in the project and luckily that paid off last year and it also kind of takes the pressure off a little bit, the needing to win that title.

“We did it now and I trust in the people around me. I have a good time with them, there is no reason to change that.”

As for what he feels he and Red Bull can achieve together in the coming years, Verstappen admits it is tough to predict.

“You need a bit of luck to fight for seven or eight championships,” he told on matching Lewis Hamilton's tally.

“You need a very dominant team as well to do that so you don’t always have that luck or you are not in that era. Sometimes it doesn’t happen.

“For me, I always wanted to win one and you will see where you go from there.

“Everything that comes now is a bonus but that doesn’t mean that if I lose a race… I will still be upset, but maybe a few minutes after I will say ‘it’s okay’.”