Verstappen will only commit to Red Bull if 2020 promises are kept

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Max Verstappen admits he will be keeping all options open for 2021 until Red Bull starts delivering on their "promises".

The Dutchman's future at the Milton Keynes-based outfit has been a topic of debate for quite some time now after team advisor Helmut Marko triggered speculation of a Mercedes move earlier this year.

A strong run of results between Austria and Hungary allayed those rumours but with his contract expiring after next season, it won't be long before the questions start again.

“I’m not too worried,” the Dutchman admitted to Auto Motor und Sport.

“First of all, I want to take a close look at everything that has been promised and what actually matters. We want to win races and the championship next year, that’s why I’m here.

“Red Bull and I are working towards that goal, but there are so many other question marks after 2020. What’s happening generally with Formula 1?

“That’s why I’m taking my time. I’m not in a hurry.”

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Verstappen believes a key change Red Bull needs to make is to alter their approach to each season, suggesting what worked before isn't as effective now.

“In the years after the team won the championships, the engine deficit didn’t help us,” Verstappen noted.

“I think the philosophy was always to have a solid base and then catch up, and it worked from 2010 to 2013.

"But since then the other teams have improved.”

Indeed, this season hasn't seen the significant jumps in development that Red Bull are known for, however, that doesn't stop them looking for weaknesses in their opposition.

“We have a lot of info and we look at GPS-data, we compare laps and I re-watch the races," he explained to his official website.

“It’s interesting to hear the team radio because some drivers you know better than others so you know better how to ‘break’ them.

“It’s a psychological game, also with teammates, but I mainly look at myself and try to improve as you can never really know what happens within other teams.”

On the topic of teammates, it is unknown who will partner Verstappen for 2020, with Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly and even Nico Hulkenberg still considered options.

While Red Bull is eager to keep the 22-year-old as their No.1, Max admits he also wants some competition.

“If someone pushes me, I’ll drive faster,” he said. "You have to work together to achieve the best result, but you always want to beat your teammate, of course.”

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