Vermeulen: Next year is the moment of truth for Red Bull

Max Verstappen’s management is reportedly in contact with Red Bull regarding their joint future as 2021 beckons, a landmark year for the sport at the highest level.

Currently, the Dutch driver and Brazilian Grand Prix winner is committed only for 2020, when manager Raymond Vermeulen said the team must charge for the title.

“It was a very good weekend, with excellent strategic decisions, and Honda – it all fit,” he told the Dutch publication Formule1.

“If you want to be F1 world champion, this must be the level, and it must be the level every time. Because if Max has the package, this is Max’s level.”

Vermeulen, who alongside Max’s father Jos manages the 22-year-old, said Verstappen is in the Red Bull simulator this week, working on the 2020 car “and laterally also for 2021. It’s an ongoing process.”

With regards to negotiating a new contract for 2021, and rumours that Mercedes or Ferrari might be interested, Vermeulen said an open-ended channel of communication exists with Red Bull

When asked if Helmut Marko is now pressing for a 2021 deal, he replied, “No, no, but we have contact. Myself or Jos are always there and we keep in touch.

“The team is under pressure as it wants to go for the title next year, and that is the most important thing for now,” Vermeulen said. “Next year is the moment of truth.”