Ex-Red Bull driver, Robert Doornbos, has said it was “surprising” to see Max Verstappen sign a new, long contract with the team.
Verstappen has agreed a new three-year contract extension with Red Bull which will now expire at the end of the 2023 season.
The Dutchman’s previous contract was due to expire following the conclusion of the 2020 campaign and Doornbos was surprised to see his fellow compatriot commit to them again for so long.
“I raced for Red Bull myself, so I still have sources there,” Doorbos is quoted as having told Dutch broadcaster NPO 1.
“I knew that something was going on, but that he would be extending for such a long term, that is surprising in Formula 1.
“In the sport, they never dare to make a commitment to a driver for so long unless they have already won a number of world titles.
“I think it’s a bit of loyalty and a bit of certainty, as after this year a lot will change in Formula 1. But I think 2020 is his best chance to go for a championship.”
Verstappen’s new contract is said to be worth in the region of £12million a year, which reportedly puts him third on the highest-earning driver list behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen is not the only big name to commit his long-term future to his current employers so early on. Charles Leclerc has signed a new deal with Ferrari that will run until the end of the 2024 season.