Max Verstappen signs new Red Bull contract until end of 2028

The Belgian-Dutch driver is primed to defend his world title this year after edging out Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi in 2021

Jack Rathborn
Thursday 03 March 2022 10:25
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Max Verstappen has signed a new long-term contract with Red Bull, committing his peak years to the Formula 1 team.

The Belgian-Dutch driver sensationally landed his maiden world title last year, edging out seven-time world champion and Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton in the controversial Abu Dhabi finale.

The 24-year-old now joins the Briton on around £40 million per year as the highest earners in the sport, with his contract lasting until the end of the 2028 season. Verstappen had two years remaining on his previous deal.

“I really enjoy being part of the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team, so choosing to stay to the 2028 season was an easy decision,” said Verstappen, who will line up alongside Mexican Sergio Perez this season again.

“I love this team and last year was simply incredible, our goal since we came together in 2016 was to win the championship and we have done that, so now it’s about keeping the number one on the car long-term.”

Hamilton’s contract ends in 2023, which led to speculation that Verstappen could replace him with the Silver Arrows. But the prospect of Verstappen making a blockbuster move across the grid took a hit with the tension between his father Jos and Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff.

Verstappen’s father was furious Wolff, previously considered a friend, did not contact his son after his 51G Silverstone crash. “There have been conversations with Toto Wolff and I also thought we had a good relationship with him, but the real Toto has shown himself lately,” he told De Limburger. “There is no relationship anymore.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner hailed the new deal as a “real statement of intent”.

“Our immediate focus is on retaining Max’s world championship title, but this deal also shows he is a part of the team’s long-term planning,” he said.

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