Although Dr Helmut Marko insists he has the Dutchman firmly under contract, there are rumours Verstappen, 19, is eyeing a move to Ferrari for 2018.
The speculation has been fuelled by increasingly frustrated comments from the Verstappen camp, suggesting not only that Red Bull’s performance in 2017 is not good enough, but that there may be no light at the end of the tunnel next year.
“For Max it’s too early to worry,” said Verstappen’s Dutch countryman Giedo van der Garde, himself a former F1 driver.
“Of course, as a driver you always want to have the best car you can, but I think that of all the current teams, Red Bull has made the most progress,” he is quoted by the newspaper De Telegraaf.
“And Renault is not standing still either,” van der Garde continued. “I understand Max’s frustration after a race such as Canada, but I still expect Red Bull to have a very good car next year.”
But amid rumours Max and his father Jos may try to force a break in the contract, Van der Garde issued a warning about that.
“Remember that they (Red Bull) put him into F1,” he said. “His time will come.
“Red Bull also know that Max is a super talent and it’s in their interest to provide him with the best possible car as quickly as possible.”
As for Verstappen’s recent media comments, van der Garde told Algemeen Dagblad newspaper: “I wish he would just keep quiet.
“Seeing the races, he’s just fed up and says things out of frustration, which I understand. He wants to win races so it’s even good to see. He just speaks his heart.”