Verstappen extends Red Bull stay through 2020


Talk of Max Verstappen heading to Mercedes or Ferrari will have to wait after he extended his commitment to Red Bull until the end of 2020.

The Dutchman had been linked to a move away from Red Bull Racing with both Mercedes and Ferrari chasing his signature.

However, on Friday, Red Bull announced that Verstappen had instead opted to extend his contract with the Milton Keynes squad.

“Red Bull has always shown their faith and belief in me with actions; inviting me in to the young driver programme as a 16-year-old, then giving me my start in Formula One when I was just 17, and then the opportunity to race with Red Bull Racing where I had such a dream start with this team,” said Verstappen.

“They have always backed me and my ambition and I know we share that ambition. Their support, from the guys and girls in the factory through to the crew in the garage, no matter what plays out on the race track, has always been 100 per cent.

“We’ve also had some fun times! I’m very happy to commit further to Red Bull Racing and I’m looking forward to working together to enjoy more success in the years to come.”

Meanwhile team boss Christian Horner, who recently spoke about wanting to build the team around Verstappen, hailed the double race winner’s prolonged deal.

“We are delighted that Max has agreed to extend his contract with Red Bull Racing,” he said. “We had a phenomenal start together in Spain last year and Max has only pushed on from there. It was a great moment for the whole team to see him put the frustrations of this season behind him in taking that fantastic victory in Malaysia last month.

“He is pure racer, with an undeniable talent at the wheel and a rare instinct for what it takes to compete consistently at this level. Coupled with a committed work ethic and a mature approach to learning his craft that belies his years, Max is right to be hungry for success and we are looking forward to extending that journey with him in our hunt for Formula One World Championships.

“As we now look to the long term with Max he is in the best place in the sport to build a team around him to deliver our shared ambition.”