Max Verstappen has signed a contract extension with Red Bull Racing that will see him drive for the Milton Keynes-based team until the end of 2023.
Ahead of the 2020 season, the Dutch driver Max Verstappen has signed a contract extension of three years that will see him stay with his current Red Bull Racing team until the end of the 2023 season.
Verstappen’s F1 career so far has been entirely due to Red Bull bringing him quickly up through junior ranks and into a Toro Rosso F1 seat in 2015. He was then promoted into a Red Bull Racing seat to replace Daniil Kvyat after four rounds of the 2016 season and, since then, has taken eight victories and become one of the leading men in Formula 1.
Verstappen’s lengthy contract extension means that two of the big teams are now locked in for a few years with their young drivers. Just before Christmas, Ferrari announced that Charles Leclerc will stay with the Scuderia until the end of the 2024 season with a almost unheard-of five year contract extension. With several big driver contracts expiring at the end of 2020, including Lewis Hamilton’s and Sebastian Vettel’s, there had been speculation that a switch away from Red Bull could be on the cards for Verstappen at the end of 2020. However, Verstappen appeared to blot his copybook with Ferrari by accusing them of cheating with their engine during the 2019 season, while Mercedes still have junior driver George Russell available if they think he’s ready.
“I am really happy to have extended my partnership with the team.” said Max Verstappen. “Red Bull believed in me and gave me the opportunity to start in Formula 1 which I have always been very grateful for.”
“Over the years I have grown closer and closer with the Team and besides the passion from everyone and the on-track performance it is also really enjoyable to work with such a great group of people. Honda coming onboard and the progress we have made over the last 12 months gives me even more motivation and the belief that we can win together. I respect the way Red Bull and Honda work together and from all sides everyone is doing what they can to succeed. I want to win with Red Bull and our goal is of course to fight for a World Championship together.”
Red Bull’s engine supply deal with Honda comes to an end at the end of 2021, meaning that the engine powering the Red Bulls in 2022 and 2023 is an uncertainty. However, Verstappen clearly feels reassured enough to continue beyond that time and team boss Christian Horner said having continuity at the wheel of their cars through the next few seasons is ‘fantastic’ for them: “With the challenge of the 2021 regulation changes on the horizon continuity in as many areas as possible is key. Max has proven what an asset he is to the Team, he truly believes in the partnership we have forged with our engine supplier Honda, and we are delighted to have extended our relationship with him.”