Helmut Marko signs Red Bull contract as Max Verstappen avoids losing key aide

Helmut Marko signs Red Bull contract as Max Verstappen avoids losing key aide

advisor has signed a new three-year contract to stay with the team, according to reports. The 80-year-old has worked closely with reigning three-time world champion since the Dutchman was given his big break in F1.

Verstappen has described his relationship with Marko as ‘very honest and straightforward’. The veteran’s guidance has helped the 26-year-old put together a dominant spell in F1, with Red Bull crushing everything in their path last season.

And in a major boost to the team, The Mirror claim that Marko has put pen to paper on a three-year deal. The new agreement will keep him in work until the age of at least 83, having originally joined to oversee the driver development programme 25 years ago.

Verstappen is under contract at Red Bull until the end of the 2028 season, at which point he has hinted at considering new ventures outside of F1.

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There had been speculation that Marko would look to cut down on his work commitments as F1 chiefs push forward with plans to expand the calendar. But the former F1 star denied such claims last week, telling OE24: “My future has been clarified in a positive sense.

“Everything will proceed as planned. What if I do all 24 races? Yes, and it won’t be stressful for me. If I said to myself that this is a crazy schedule, it would be difficult.

“The reality is I tell myself that Australia is beautiful and I can’t wait to be in Melbourne. I will continue my work for Red Bull Racing from 11am on Friday morning to Sunday evening. I cannot wait.”

After his stellar 2023 season, Verstappen admitted it was vital that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and advisor Marko remain in their respective roles for the foreseeable future. “It’s very important when you are doing well, and the team is doing very well, that you keep those people that are very important to the success of the team,” he told Sky Sports.

“Everyone knows that. From our side, it has always been super clear. I don’t know why people outside the team were trying to doubt that. From our side, it’s always been clear that it has to stay that way.”

With Marko’s future believed to be secured, Red Bull can continue their preparation for the 2024 season. Testing in Bahrain is due to get underway in late February, with the first Grand Prix of the year commencing the following weekend.