Formula 1 team, Red Bull, has confirmed this Tuesday the renewal of its head of ranks, Max Verstappen for another three years. The Dutch driver will, therefore, remain with the team from Milton Keynes until the end of 2023.
The news follows the contractual extension of Charles Leclerc by Ferrari (December 2019) until 2024. The two rising stars of the grid, settled in their current scuderias, will thus continue to battle it out to become the next big name of Formula 1.
“I am really happy to have extended my partnership with the team. Red Bull believed in me and gave me the opportunity to start in Formula One which I have always been very grateful for. Over the years I have grown in parallel to the team and beyond the passion and the performance on the track, it is wonderful to be able to work with this great group of professionals” – has declared the driver form Hasselt, Belgium.
With this move, the team from Milton Keynes aims to tie down their golden boy, who they consider a key piece in their future sporting development. Team principal, Christian Horner, has rushed the conversations through so as to block any other offers from rivals which might have lured Max Verstappen away.
The contracts of many of the most important Formula 1 drivers currently on the grid are due to expire at the end of the coming season and therefore the driver market will be in full stirring mode before the end of 2020. Red Bull executives wanted to get ahead of the game.
It is no secret that the #33 is the centrepiece of Red Bulls’ sporting project and that the continuity of their partnership with Honda as their engine provider, has been subjected to the continuity of Verstappen within the team. The new contractual extension also gives stability to the agreement between both firms, dissipating any existing doubts.
To tie down their greatest asset: A key move for Red Bull and Honda
For many paddock experts, the Dutch driver is the natural candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton as the star of the sport. He is undoubtedly the greatest threat to the hegemony that Mercedes has exerted since the start of the hybrid era and Red Bull are fully aware of this.
Faced with these forecasts, securing Verstappen’s permanence in Red Bull was the number one priority for the head of Red Bull’s driver development program, Helmut Marko. Her Doktor will be hoping for the 22-year-old racing driver to bring back the glory days of a team which is devoted to the pursual of the coveted title.
This extension also fulfils Honda’s demands in their bid to continue their involvement in Formula 1 in the future after having already invested vast financial and material resources in exchange of very uncertain results. Having Mad Max onboard, however, is a sort of guarantee for the Japanese firm, who now believe that they stand a chance for the title.
We mustn’t forget that the new regulations, which are in theory going to revolutionise the sport, are coming in place in 2021. It is precisely in that new setting that the son of Jos Verstappen could come to achieve the success that is expected of him.
Max Verstappen, who remains the youngest racing driver in history to win a Formula 1 race since his victory at the Spanish Grand Prix 2016, has taken part in six F1 seasons. During that time, he has defended the colours of Toro Rosso and Red Bull and has taken eight victories, thirty-one podiums, two pole positions and seven fast laps.
Images of ‘Max Verstappen’: Red Bull.