Why Verstappen Might Leave Red Bull Racing: 3 Key Reasons

Max Verstappen is considering leaving Red Bull due to his loyalty to Helmut Marko, unrest within the team, and doubts about Red Bull Powertrains’ competitiveness with future engine regulations, potentially eyeing a move to Mercedes for a better position in the future.

Highlights

‣ Max Verstappen’s loyalty to Helmut Marko, viewing him as a father figure and integral part of his support team, could lead to Verstappen leaving Red Bull if Marko is pushed out.

‣ Internal unrest within Red Bull, particularly the power struggle between Red Bull Thailand and Red Bull Austria, and the investigation into team boss Christian Horner, could influence Verstappen’s decision on his future with the team.

‣ Concerns about Red Bull Powertrains’ competitiveness in the 2026 engine regulations might push Verstappen to consider a move to Mercedes, especially with Lewis Hamilton leaving and Mercedes’ proven track record with new engine regulations.


You’re in the driver’s seat of the best Formula 1 car, eyeing not one but two world titles in 2024 and 2025. Yet, here’s Max Verstappen, seemingly ready to throw it all away. Why? Well, if Helmut Marko’s out, he’s out too. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Max is a loyal guy. Always has been. He’s gone on record saying Marko’s like a dad to him. And now, when push comes to shove, he’s sticking by him. It’s still up in the air if Marko will actually leave, but hats off to Verstappen for his stance.

Marko’s been Max’s rock. Gave him his big break in F1, boosted him to Red Bull Racing, and shielded him during those rocky early days of 2018. Max hasn’t forgotten any of it.

Because of this, Marko’s part of Max’s inner circle. Alongside manager Raymond Vermeulen and his dad, Jos Verstappen, they’re a tight-knit crew. If Red Bull shows Marko the door, Verstappen might just follow. Rumor has it, there’s even a clause in his contract about it.

**Unrest within Red Bull**

There’s more to the story, though. Red Bull’s been a bit of a soap opera lately. Despite Verstappen’s successes on the track, all eyes are on the drama off it. It started with an investigation into team boss Christian Horner.

The investigation wrapped up, and Horner’s keen to move past it. But not everyone’s on the same page. An email leak and accusations flew, even suggesting Horner should be replaced. It’s a mess, with Red Bull Thailand and Austria at odds over control of the team.

This power struggle’s far from over. It’s the kind of drama that can tear a team apart. No wonder Verstappen’s weighing his options.

**2026 engine regulations**

Then there’s the engine dilemma. Red Bull’s pouring resources into their Powertrains project, aiming to compete with the big guns by 2026. But it’s all unproven, and talks with Mercedes are on the table. With Lewis Hamilton exiting, a switch to Mercedes for Verstappen isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.

What if Red Bull’s engines don’t measure up to Mercedes? Jumping ship could be Verstappen’s best bet for the future. Sure, it’s a risk. But it might just be the kind of bold move that pays off.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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