Verstappen just wanted to win and now we are, says manager

Speculation surrounding Max Verstappen's future only emerged because the Red Bull star was not winning, according to manager Raymond Vermeulen.

Mercedes dominated the start of the 2019 Formula One season, claiming the first eight races as Verstappen battled just to make the podium.

Vermeulen confirmed ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix at the end of June that Verstappen had a performance-related clause in his contract and it was reported he could talk to other teams if he did not register a victory before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Yet Verstappen won in Austria and, with Hungary up next, was then triumphant again in Germany, dramatically changing the mood music around his season.

Vermeulen is happy to see Verstappen's future is no longer being discussed, however, as he insists the 21-year-old was happy to stay with Red Bull as long as he could be successful.

"You know what it is, this business is synonymous with performance," he told Formule 1. "Everyone has performance clauses here. Everyone wants to participate at the highest level.

"We have always said, 'We are very good here, but we want to win'. Well, we are doing that now. We said we wanted to win races. If we got them together from Austria, we would be there the way we wanted to be there."

Verstappen is third in the drivers' championship having moved to 22 points behind second-placed Valtteri Bottas, although he is 63 points shy of leader and defending champion Lewis Hamilton.

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