According to Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing have control of the destinies of their drivers – not the other way around.
In an interview with Germany’s Sport Bild magazine, Marko revealed that Red Bull are in charge of the futures of their drivers, and that “Only we (Red Bull) can end contracts – the drivers cannot.”. This statement follows a number of reports have linked Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, and Carlos Sainz Jr with a number of different teams for 2018.
“Ricciardo and Verstappen have fixed contracts,” Marko revealed. “Ricciardo for 2018, and Verstappen with some clauses for even much longer.” If this is true, it means that both drivers are off the market for next season, especially Verstappen who has been regarded as a future champion of the sport.
“That also applies to Carlos Sainz,” the Austrian announced. “He is also bound to us in the longer term. Until 2019.”
This is a strong statement from Marko who runs the Red Bull driver programme, telling other teams on the grid that their drivers are off the market for 2018 and even beyond.
After the first seven races of the 2017 Season, Red Bull lie in third place in the Constructors’ Championship while Toro Rosso are in fifth respectively, 42 points behind Force India who lie in fourth place.