Horner Shoots Down Rumors of Verstappen/Ferrari Move

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has shot down any speculation that his driver, Max Verstappen, will be poached by Ferrari any point soon.

Never say never. That should be the phrase that Horner should remember when he comments on the state of his driver’s contracts. The Red Bull team principal recently commented on the speculation that his driver, Max Verstappen, could be looking to other top-tier teams should his performance continue to be plagued by mechanical issues at the hands of Red Bull. A fan-favorite team for Verstappen to jump ship to has emerged as Ferrari, but Horner is having none of it.

Horner took time out of his schedule to set the records straight as he saw it, claiming that both drivers are under contract for the duration of the 2018 race year, and even adding that he’s confident both will stick around further in the future:

“The agreements are very clear.

We know what our driver line-up is for next year, and that’s what we’re working and planning around. Anything else is pure speculation or mischief-making.

We’re very clear on what our drivers and who our drivers are for next year, which are the same numbers that are on the car this year.

So, there’s nothing really to report on that. The contracts are clear, so both drivers are under contract for next year, 100 percent.” – Christian Horner

Despite Horner’s beliefs that a contract will keep both Ricciardo and Verstappen bound to the team, he may be exercising a bit of wishful thinking – at least in the case of Verstappen. The Dutchman has shown that he has all the drive necessary to wrangle victory from the hands of his opponents, yet he continues to be beleaguered by mechanical failures at the hands of Red Bull. Contract or no, there is only so much that Max can put up with.

The early years of a driver’s career are often the most critical. It is in this period that they must show their aptitude to the rest of the world. Verstappen has absolutely succeeded in that regard – and he knows it. It would be ludicrous to assume that Verstappen will just keep his head down and continue to take failure after failure at the hands of Red Bull’s technical staff. And let’s not forget about Ferrari.

Despite Sebastian Vettel’s performance in the 2017 Championship thus far, there are no guarantees how long he or Kimi Raikkonen will continue to race under the crimson banner. Driver’s age, team relations change, and a new generation comes in to replace the old. Such has always been the way, and such will always be. It’s likely that Horner’s words are meant to downplay the extent of Max’s dissatisfaction with the team at the moment, but one would have to be truly living with their head in the clouds to believe that there was no threat of the young Dutchman being poached.

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