Honda’s decision to leave Red Bull at the end of 2021 was not a huge surprise, according to the team’s top driver Max Verstappen.
Red Bull will have to find a new engine supplier from 2022 onwards after the Japanese manufacturer confirmed it would not renew its contract at the end of next year.
“You could feel it coming,” Verstappen said. “Of course, you don’t show it but of course I also knew it a little bit earlier than the announcement. It’s a shame but understandable from their side.
Verstappen has a contract with Red Bull until the end of 2023, but the Honda news has led to speculation that he may look at options outside the team before then. The 22-year-old said there was no certainty around Honda’s position when he signed his contract, but that the company’s exit had been a possibility even then.
“[The news] definitely came after I signed the deal but they never committed a lot longer,” he added. “So you could expect something like this, you’re never sure. That’s the same for teams as well. You sign a deal with them, but who knows what is happening in five