Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

Verstappen extends Red Bull contract to 2020

2018 F1 season

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Max Verstappen will remain at Red Bull until at least 2020, the team has announced.

The 20-year-old already head a deal in place to drive for them next year. His new contract means Verstppen will remain at the team for at least the next three seasons.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner 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.”

Red Bull gave Verstappen his F1 debut with Toro Rosso in 2015 after just one season in racing cars. He said the team 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.”

“They have always backed me and my ambition and I know we share that ambition,” Verstappen added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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42 comments on “Verstappen extends Red Bull contract to 2020”

  1. Wow, that’s extremely unexpected. Just this week news was circulating about how he wishes to keep all his options open for his next contract. And this is only a one year extension, so likely what we have here is a massive pay raise and the opportunity for Verstappen to end his contract at the end of each season in case Red Bull is uncompetitive. Even so, I had honestly expected him to want to fill the void Bottas would leave at the end of 2018. If Red Bull is competitive next season, that’s not happening. Interesting development to say the least.

    1. Might be he got signals from Mercedes that they do not want to rock the apple cart @hahostolze

      1. Do they care? Also, the alternative will be Ricciardo I guess? And that’s also rocking the apple cart. Besides, if RB have a terrible season, I’m betting Max now has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave. It’s probably profitable for him, this move, but I am surprised by it I guess

        1. Max says he rather be world champion with no money in the bank then not world champion with 100 million in the bank.

    2. I imagine the contract is relatively similar to what he has now except he’ll get paid A LOT more and is only committing to one extra season…. He can either race 2 more seasons for RB on an ok wage or can do 3 and get paid loads.

  2. So I guess we can now count on Lewis staying with Mercedes (with Bottas alongside him?). I do think that Max will have a few more get out clauses in the contract than he had up until now though.

  3. Good going Helmut Marko, taking advantage of Max’s recent win streak and happiness within the team to convert it to an extended contract.

    Just hoping this doesn’t cause Max’s record breaking championship wins from happening, that is give him the machine he needs Redbull !!!

  4. The contract has a clause page that won’t activate if RB their first car doesn’t end in the standings in the top 3 of the WDC and the second driver in the top 5 with the RB becoming 3rd and winning a GP. In fact RB would’ve been able to extend it themselves if they hit those goals.

    Ricciardo won in July and FI had those diva’s and McLaren and Renault became so poor the 3rd place in the constructors was never in jeopardy, so at least 50% of the performance page was already settled. Enough to keep him. That why you saw Horner not denying this page until Ricciardo won in Baku = they already knew the contract wouldn’t get breached. The contract is just to keep some gossip sites and the rumour mill away with Bottas getting those sneaky 1 year deals. Go ask Horner in person, don’t comment on me.

    I’m predicting it here. If they end next season with the same numbers, he will at least try to make Mercedes to pay the enormous fee to breach the contract.

    1. Baku was in June. Correction.

      1. And you know this, how?

        1. @baron Dutch media has reported a while back that Verstappens contract was through 2018 with an option for 2019 that would automatically kick in if RBR would be a a GP winning team and a top 3 team in the constructors standings.

          It was reported that the Verstappen camp wanted to change that stipulation to Verstappen being ‘top three in the drivers standings’. RedBull didn’t want to change that mid-contract.

          I would presume RedBull now have included some sort of option to Verstappen’s liking in exchange for extending the deal to 2020 (and probably a massive pay raise as well)

        2. @baron Dutch media had an insider and there was a German journalist that had a one on one with a RB associate around the summer that hinted it. (my comments get deleted whenever I promote other sites or sources here so just use the search in your browser in German.)

          Never heard more then this on Verstappen but he suggested Ricciardo was actively looking to leave the team as they were told the Renault power-train wouldn’t catch up with Mercedes next year and the chance would’ve been higher Renault, McLaren and Honda would be much closer to RB as the end of the big leaps of performance gain on the turbo is near.

          The next statement has no sources but; if the guy above is right, the clause for Verstappen would be gambling on Max car not breaking down putting him 3rd in the WDC, but that is even more risky then this year, considering Renault and McLaren will be up there if not FI and STR-Honda.

  5. I would very much be surprised if there isn’t a “get out clause”. To be fair, I would say that Red Bull could be a better fit than Ferrari at least, for the next few years. Ferrari hasn’t proved its ability to bring develop a car from one year to the next (since 2009), and Red Bull I reckon will be strong next season if Renault can get their act together. Mercedes, though, is a different story, and it would have been great to see him there in 2019.

  6. The only other option for Max would have been Mercedes. All the dutch insiders (Doornbos, Mol, Lammers) have said Max will not go to Ferrari because that team is chaos.
    So he stuck to RBR, which I believe is a good choice. It looks like they are getting their stuff together and Max has shown he is already better then Ricciardo who seems to want to get out.
    He probably knows his chances might be better at Ferrari, since he has proven he can beat Vettel.

    If Alonso would go to Mercedes, Ricciardo to Ferrari, that would create one of the best line-ups in F1 history.

  7. Ricciardo to Mercedes for 2019 then.

  8. Ricciardo to Mercedes or Ferrari then

    1. He won’t go to Ferrari, said in an interview once that he wants to go for wins and not be a number 2 driver.

      Now if Vettel makes a move yeah that could happen !

      1. I don’t think he’s afraid of Vettel one bit.

      2. @redbullf1 Mercedes 2019 would be worse for Ricciardo than Ferrari with Hamilton in the other car, would be the same situation as Red Bull, except harsher. Ricciardo has more chance of winning against Seb who he has already beaten in 2014.

  9. 3 more seasons or 2 more seasons?

    It says contract “untill 2020”

    That does not include the 2020 season.

    So 2018 and 2019 then I guess…

    1. That’s how I read it too :), meaning up to that point, not including it.

      1. I also got mixed up with the title. I’m still unsure what it is. But does this mean that as Red Bull don’t have Renault power in 2019, Verstappen may have to drive a slow, unreliable Red Bull-Honda? Honda may have got things right by then if it is them that they use. I doubt Ferrari or Mercedes would be willing to give their engines.

        1. @thegianthogweed, it is generally being reported as signing until the end of the 2020 season (i.e. it is inclusive of 2020).

          1. Yes it’s right here on the front page

            http://www.redbullracing.com

  10. Ricciardo doesnt want to be 2nd driver too right?
    He wants to become the world champion.
    So will Hamilton or Vettel accept him coming to their team?
    Why would Ricciardo want to leave Red Bull, and to where?

    1. Because ahum Mark Webber ahum
      They are very close. But given the same results, verstappen is in the record books (because of his age) and Ricciardo not. So on which driver will Red Bull put their money?

  11. This is a sensible move for Max.

    2020 is a good marker, as we go into a new engine formula thereafter. At this point, nobody is clear on what the new formula looks like. By the time his contract runs out, the 2021 formula and more importantly, the grid, will be clear.

    If well endowed manufacturers like Porsche are decide to join F1, Max will be top of their lists, and he will have the bargaining power at that stage, even if they decide to supply RB.

    The other point to note here is that Max and Joos probably seen enough evidence that the Renault PU will be up to scratch next season, which is also possibly the reason behind Fernando extending his stint?

    On the flip side, no Max v Lewis at Merc in 2020. Hopefully we get Ricciardo v Vettel part 2 in 2019!

    1. Hopefully we get Ricciardo v Vettel part 2 in 2019!

      @jaymenon10 Ferrari surely have to sign Ricciardo. Not only to improve (vastly) on Raikonnen, but possibly to improve on Vettel too. But I doubt they will.

      1. @david-br

        Ricciardo at Ferrari would be great, but Leclerc seems more likely.

  12. What about the Honda engine going to Redbull in 2019? The Honda engine may be critical in whether Max stays to the end of 2020 or not. It’s going to need some big improvements to be a world championship winner.

    Dan unlikely to stay at Redbull with the team focused on Max to be the WDC.

  13. with no changes to the engine regs till 2020 i see this as a mistake to tie himself to RBR

    so unless hes badly advised hell have get out clauses

    RBR say a 3 yr deal but id say he has a 2 plus option of 1

    so danny rics gotta be gunning hard for the Merc seat 2019

    it could all be up in the air if as i believe Ham retires at the end of 2018

    if he wins the WDC

  14. How much for? I read that Mercs were going to offer him 20m

  15. Ismael Basalah
    20th October 2017, 18:33

    Verstappen has time to see the Red Bull performance during the next year and with Honda in 2019. I think Ricciardo maybe, if Red Bull doesn’t fight for the title the next year, he will leave or at least thinking to leave Red Bull to go to McLaren if Alonso retires or to Ferrari if Kimi retires too, or inclusive Mercedes in Bottas place.

    1. Ricciardo to McLaren for 2019…That’s an intresting idea!

      If McLaren can compete with RedBull next year for podiums and the odd win (or even mix it up with all three top teams for the championship next year) a latteral move might make a lot of sense for Daniel. Especially as it was reported that Renault will drop RedBull as a costumer from 2019 onwards. RedBull would then be forced to go to the engine supplier with the least custumers: Honda

      Max might have made a mistake, commiting so early while he could have waited a year or two.

  16. Now I really hope Honda get their act together soon

  17. I must admit when I read this news I immediately thought of Danny Ric. I believe Danny will now have an extremely difficult time over the next 2 years as Marko seems only to see Max these days. It’s going to take some inner strength & I think he’s got it, but I don’t see this episode being easy for him..

  18. Great choice Max! Most RB drivers can only join Red Bull once in their career. If you can join them for about 4-5 years and maybe scoop a WDC under your belt, u show them your loyality and they will remember. The only one who can return is probably Vettel and I guess you also will you ever leave.

  19. I’m happy with this news. He was so good that made me hate the idea of losing the opportunity of watching him pass faster cars if he ever join Merc or Ferrari.

  20. Slap in the face of Ricciardo. They’re going to built a team around Max.
    He will choose Vettel as team mate over Hamilton.
    I’m sure that Ferrari wants Ricciardo.

  21. Also Max will get a new engine with 2018 parts + more HP for Austin. Not Ricciardo.

    1. Well Max as the more ‘junior’ driver has been the one consistently outperforming his teammate when the car has been there for him, and he is the one RBR would not have liked to see going away to be their competition, so good on RBR for this contract. Max is formidable. DR, while being there to pick up the pieces when Max’s car has failed him, is not nearly as exciting to watch.

  22. If there are definite signs of improvement at McLaren in 2018 I could see Ricciardo going there instead of either Ferrari or Mercedes. I think he gets on pretty well with Alonso as well, although it might not be the same as team mates. Of course Alonso might even leave at the end of 2018.

    I am not sure where Daniel will go if it is between Ferrari and Mercedes. If Mercedes are still ahead and Ferrari are close but still trying to catch up, then Ferrari might be the more keen to acquire his services. Merc may not want to upset the apple cart. Of course Hamilton may even retire at the end of 2018 if he has a 5th title by then. I don’t think he is very concerned about trying to equal Schumacher.

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