Max Verstappen’s new long-term Red Bull deal not only secured the Dutchman’s future with the F1 team but also the team’s future in Formula 1.
At the beginning of this year Red Bull announced that Verstappen had signed a new contract extension.
Believed to be Mercedes’ number one target should Lewis Hamilton retire or move to Ferrari, Red Bull risked losing the Dutchman either at the end of this year or after 2022.
They team snapped him up with a new three-year extension that runs until the end of 2023.
But while that effectively put an end to rumours that Verstappen could be on his way out, team boss Christian Horner says it also played a role in securing Red Bull’s future in Formula 1.
Red Bull, an energy drink company, entered Formula 1 in 2005 and won both championship titles six years in.
Following a run of four successive doubles, the team lost the titles to Mercedes when the V6 engine era began and has never regained them.
However, in Verstappen Red Bull has a driver with the ability to wrestle the titles away from Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
As such Horner has highlighted the importance of holding onto the eight-time grand prix winner.
“The reality is, Red Bull make an energy drink worldwide,” Horner said during Netflix’s Drive to Survive.
“Formula 1 is a platform to promote and advertise it.
“If this new relationship with Honda doesn’t work, if we lose Max Verstappen, then you’d have to question Red Bull’s long-term commitment to Formula 1.”
Honda will remain with Red Bull through to the end of the 2021 season but has yet to commit further.