Red Bull's driver manager Dr Helmut Marko has clarified that no amount of money could possibly buy Max Verstappen out of his contract with the Milton Keynes team.
Rumours are still rife that the Dutchman is headed for Ferrari when his current deal ends in 2019 - but Red Bull is known to be keen to keep him whatever the cost, and Marko again demonstrated its firm position in a new interview with Bild: "We would not give Max up for 100 million," he insisted. "We put him into Formula One to see his insane potential and development. We want to be World Champion with him."
Verstappen's manager Raymond Vermuelen also waded into the matter by stating that he and his client will honour their Red Bull commitment, as long as the team does the same and can provide Verstappen with the best equipment. "We are, as always, committed to agreements, but this is based on reciprocity with Red Bull.
"We do not talk about contracts but Dr Marko, Max and I know what is agreed. Red Bull has one of the best drivers in the paddock, and you can expect us to have the best equipment to become World Champion."
Unfortunately, Verstappen's 2017 equipment has not been totally reliable of late, and his DNF tally stands at five for the season so far thanks to a run of appalling misfortune. The resulting frustration has only fuelled rumours of Verstappen's departure, and acknowledging this, Marko simply added: "We have told him we are doing everything we can to stop this unbelievable bad luck."