Verstappen signs new deal to stay at Red Bull until 2028

2022 F1 season

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World champion Max Verstappen will remain a Red Bull driver until at least the end of the 2028 F1 season after signing a major contract extension.

The team announced today that Verstappen had committed to remaining with the team for a further six seasons after 2022.

The move comes after Verstappen clinched his first drivers’ world championship with Red Bull in 2021 after being promoted from Toro Rosso to the senior Red Bull team during the 2016 season at the age of 18.

Verstappen said he was proud that he would call Red Bull Racing his home until at least the end of 2028.

“I love this team and I am very happy to continue this amazing journey we are on for a long time,” said Verstappen on social media. “We have accomplished so much together already but we are definitely not done.”

Verstappen says that after claiming his first world title, his new deal will allow him to enjoy his time racing in Formula 1.

“Even after winning the championship my ambition is still to win races and try to fight for the championship again,” he said.

“Also now, we don’t need to think about it anymore – we know how long the contract is and we can just work together. Besides, when you’re trying to fight for wins and championships I think it’s important as well to have a good time and have fun and actually enjoy your time in Formula 1 as well.”

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, said the long-term extension was a “statement of intent” from the team

“Our immediate focus is on retaining Max’s world championship title, but this deal also shows he is a part of the team’s long-term planning,” said Horner.

Red Bull will enter an Formula 1 season while supplying their own power units for the first time this season after establishing their new Red Bull Powertrains division in 2021. The team will run and maintain Honda designs until the introduction of a new power unit formula expected to be introduced in 2026.

“With the Red Bull Powertrains division working towards the new engine regulations for 2026 we wanted to make sure we had the best driver on the grid secured for that car, said Horner.

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Will Wood
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  • 83 comments on “Verstappen signs new deal to stay at Red Bull until 2028”

    1. Great for all of them. They have the same mindset so it is the best combination.

    2. A massive show of confidence in Red Bull from Max. These new regulations could bring them back into the pack a bit if they don’t get it right. Also you would have to think there would be uncertainties in RB making their own engine for the first time.
      A huge call from both sides to commit to such a huge deal when their success together is still so young, and history shows that even the best team-driver relationships don’t last forever.
      Lewis only stayed another 4 years at McLaren after his first title. Senna was another 5 years after ’88 with McLaren and won another two championships. Seb won another 3 WDC in 4 years after 2010 with Red Bull yet he left as soon as the success dried up.
      If I was to predict now, I think that the Red Bull-Verstappen relationship could be one of the most successful of all time or could explode in a hot mess very quickly.

      1. Lewis only stayed another 4 years at McLaren after his first title

        Not like he had much choice he was gradually being pushed out. Mclaren didn’t have a stable leadership unlike the consistency that Redbull has had.
        He’s already doing 10 years in his current team.

      2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        3rd March 2022, 11:44

        On the engine front Honda is doing all the work until the new engines come in 2026. ORBR are hoping Porsche will sign up one assumes to design the 2026 engine. It is hard to see now exactly what ORBR Powertrain will be needed for.

        As for Max’s deal then make hay. Careers can be uncertain so get what you can as soon as you can.

      3. Yep, it is.

        And guaranteed there is a get-out clause.

    3. Can’t say I blame him for re-signing.

      He’s got a team that is built around him and will do just about anything he needs. It would be difficult to go to a new team that may not be so dedicated to him and while it’s as competitive as it is, it’s pretty much a no brainer to stay at RBR.

      If however, they suddenly find themselves in an uncompetitive position, I would see that changing quite rapidly.

      1. He probably has a performance clause. Something like “at least another title in the next 4 years or I can leave” or something like that.

        1. Agreed 1000% percent. There are probably several performance parameters. Like if they drop below third in any season, he has the option to leave. If no titles for x years the same. And so on.

    4. 13 seasons at one team? Would that be a record, assuming Max completes his contract?

      The longest single-team tenure I can think of at the moment is Michael Schumacher, who was at Ferrari for 11 seasons from 1996 to 2006. Hamilton will also complete 11 seasons at Mercedes if he sees out his current two-year deal. I can’t think of any others that come close, though I may be missing someone obvious.

      1. Really a shame that schumacher retired in 2006, since he was still very fast and could’ve won 2007 and 2008 and retired then instead of coming back when he was too old, in which case could’ve been 13 seasons, I seem to remember he could’ve stayed but ferrari wanted raikkonen at all costs and hence massa would’ve lost the seat.

        Both him and hamilton were loyal drivers, but then again leaving such a mercedes would be silly after 8 seasons in a row with the joint-best car or better.

        1. Damn never thought of that. You are right. If it had been Schumacher in that 2007 and 2008 title he would have definitely done better than Kimi and Massa.

    5. I expect an engine deal soon, then. Why would Max commit to the team for such a long term when the plans for the future are not clear to the public? If the rumours about Porsche are right, then this is the early give-away.

      1. Maybe, but that Honda engine deal and Redbull having lots of time to work on their own engine in itself may be enough for him to consider this deal. Also probably has a performance clause, “1 title in the next 4 years or I get to leave.”

      2. @fer-no65 “Why would Max commit to the team for such a long term when the plans for the future are not clear to the public?”

        I find that to be a strange comment. Why do you think Max would be going by public information? You are tying this is with some sort of alleged Porsche/RBR announcement, but I would suggest that Max is quite confident in RBR’s plans behind closed doors Porsche or not. Personally I don’t think anything hinges on a deal with Porsche. I think that come 2026 RBR will be well capable of making their own PUs. Sure Horner had said when they announced the formation of the Red Bull Powertrain Unit that they would consider partnerships, but I don’t think that is the main goal and a partnership would have to suit them. At a bare minimum come 2026 RBR will be making and assembling their pus and their chassis all in house, so if there is going to be a marriage with Porsche it will certainly not be Porsche supplying pus to RBR like RBR are a customer of theirs. From what Horner has already said imho Porsche might come in and offer knowledge and personnel and likely money to have their name attached, but RBR certainly will not be buying Porsche pus. Making pus with some of their staff, sure, possibly…at Red Bull Powertrains.

        1. @robbie

          At a bare minimum come 2026 RBR will be making and assembling their pus and their chassis all in house

          No probably not, for the same reason McLaren or Williams never tried $$$.

          Porsche might come in and offer knowledge and personnel and likely money to have their name attached,

          That’s fantasy robbie, Honda kept control of their PU for a reason, they didn’t want RB to have any access to their IP or share it with others. Yet you think Porsche are going to pay RB to build a PU and also share their IP?

        2. @johnrkh I have no idea why you would suggest RBR don’t have the money. Not only do they already have buckets of it, they are also now forced to spend less to be in F1, and they just signed for example Oracle for half a billion. No, money is, I would suggest, no object to them whatsoever. That’s aside from the fact that Horner has laid out the team’s plans involving their Powertrain Unit and it’s a reality. It’s actually happening. ie. the money is likely allotted and in their budgeting.

          I think you are totally speculating on the inner workings of the deal with Honda and RBR going forward, and what we do know is that RBR have hired Honda employees to now be RBR employees, just as they have poached from the likes of Mercedes, all to build themselves up to be independent of a pu maker by being one themselves. I believe Horner wholeheartedly when he says they no longer want to be a customer to someone else’s pu, for we know customers will not beat factory teams anymore, at least until we see if the 2026 pus are going to be more plug and play, so my own speculation on what might or might not happen with Porsche aside, trust me the 2026 RBR pu is going to be build at the RBR Powertrain Unit with the chassis being built mere metres away. Whatever way RBR and Porsche decide to work it, if indeed that happens, is of course to be seen. Maybe you’re right and Porsche wouldn’t be paying RBR, but rather for their contribution they would have their name on the car and enjoy other marketing avenues etc.

          I don’t see Honda over the next coming years, nor Porsche as an example of a potential partner, being too concerned about their IP, given that the deal with RBR is going to be very integrated, with as I say Honda employees already now being RBR employees. Do you think they are going to have to keep mum about the inner workings of the pu over the next 4 seasons as RBR builds themselves up to be pu makers themselves? I don’t. Horner has only spoken about gathering together the infrastructure, the personnel, and the knowhow, such that they will be making their own pu’s in 2026. Does that sound to you like they will be shut out from knowing the inner workings of the Honda pu and would be as well shut out by a Porsche? Doesn’t to me. I’d even suggest that if Porsche says something like, yeah we’ll built pus for you and we want to keep secret our IP, Horner will tell them that is not something they are interested in whatsoever. That would just be RBR reverting back to being a customer, and that is the opposite direction of where they are headed.

          1. @robbie

            I have no idea why you would suggest RBR don’t have the money. Not only do they already have buckets of it, they are also now forced to spend less to be in F1

            It’s not just having the means to pay for something, it’s having the means to recoup the costs, the owners of RB are not stupid. So unless they have some type of supply deal in the works it’s not likely.

            think you are totally speculating on the inner workings of the deal with Honda and RBR going forward, and what we do know is that RBR have hired Honda employees to now be RBR employees,

            You have gotten that wrong. Honda will continue to supply PUs to Redbull and AlphaTaur until the end of the 2024 season. They will not be sharing any of their IP with RBR or anyone else. At this point, it remains unclear if the PUs will be built in the new RB facilities.

            I don’t see Honda over the next coming years, nor Porsche as an example of a potential partner, being too concerned about their IP, given that the deal with RBR is going to be very integrated, with as I say Honda employees already now being RBR employees. Do you think they are going to have to keep mum about the inner workings of the pu over the next 4 seasons as RBR builds themselves up to be pu makers themselves? I don’t. Horner has only spoken about gathering together the infrastructure, the personnel, and the knowhow, such that they will be making their own pu’s in 2026. Does that sound to you like they will be shut out from knowing the inner workings of the Honda pu and would be as well shut out by a Porsche? Doesn’t to me. I’d even suggest that if Porsche says something like, yeah we’ll built pus for you and we want to keep secret our IP, Horner will tell them that is not something they are interested in whatsoever. That would just be RBR reverting back to being a customer, and that is the opposite direction of where they are headed.

            I’ll let that one sink under it’s own weight.

            1. @johnrkh We’ll agree to disagree, and we shall see:)

            2. @johnrkh Actually…

              https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.red-bull-and-honda-reveal-collaboration-plans-after-engine-supplier.6qkvqcmeSV5Fn3xgTBVstL.html

              As this article states, come 2023 RBR Powertrains Unit will be manufacturing the pus. Sure Honda owns some IP, but I would suggest that since RBR will be making the pus themselves they will be well aware of the IP and have permission to go forward using that IP with that knowledge. As the article points out there is more to the collaboration with Honda than just pus, so perhaps it is safe to say letting RBR use that which Honda retains as IP is just part of the overall deal.

              Then of course there is the fact that the 2026 pus will be different, so to me that means RBR will have learned from that which constitutes the current Honda pu, but perhaps the current IP will be redundant by 2026 when RBR will be totally independent. Totally speculating on that of course.

            3. @robbie Yes I read that article some time ago, I thought it may have been shared on this site? Maybe I missed it.
              Nowhere in the article does it say or hint at any change in the arrangements between Honda and RB.
              Honda will retain all of its IP.

            4. @johnrkh Lol you read the article some time ago and yet still insist they won’t be making their own pus. Anywho, doesn’t sound like the IP thing you’ve decided to hang your hat on is a concern for them.

            5. @robbie First I will appoligise for misleading you, the link you supplied was not the article I thought it was.
              The builder was here and I was distracted.
              This is a quote from Helmut Marko being interviewed by Autorevue magazine, it’s an Austrian publication.

              In the course of our ever greater successes, a certain rethinking has taken place among the Japanese. And also that they could of course use the battery knowledge for their electrification phase” “It was initially planned that they would only make our motors for 2022. Now it has been decided that this will continue until 2025, which is of course a huge advantage for us.

              Honda will build and maintain the Pus out of Japan until 2025. Redbull will have no part in maintaining them.
              Redbull will not have any access to IP at this point, whether Honda and Redbull come to a commercial agreement later on to IP rights is not known and unlikely.
              You may also read the information on planet f1, honda-tech .com or Pit-Pass.com.

            6. @johnrkh Right so suffice it to say Max made exactly the right decision to go long-term with RBR since there will be even less ‘risk,’ with Honda staying more involved until 2025. Nothing I have read indicates RBR won’t be making their own pu’s for 2026 onward with or without a potential Porsche partnership and I am 100% convinced all of this will be going on at their Powertrain Unit so they can properly integrate pu to chassis. Honda and any partner that might be brought in later know fully well how crucial it is in F1 today to be in-house and merging PU to chassis under one roof.

              You are still stuck on the IP thing, I’m assuming implying without that RBR will not be making their own pus any time soon, nor gathering the knowledge to do so? Your tone seems to imply, if I’m not mistaken, that RBR is a customer of Honda’s. I think there is much more works factory going on than that, as per 2021, and of course there are the employees that have moved from Honda to RBR, the ones they have poached from Mercedes, and there is Yamamoto who is now with RBR overseeing the marriage between Honda and RBR. I’m not convinced you are right to say ‘Redbull will have no part in maintaining them.’ I see nothing within this relationship that would hold back RBR from continuing to grow and develop into a wholly independent team come 2026, building their own pu and chassis hand in hand under one roof.

              As to IP, it is total speculation on your part as to what RBR will have access to, and any commercial agreements, and you acknowledge that is not known but simply opine ‘unlikely’ for an unexplained reason. I think one possibility might be that any IP Honda wants to retain for themselves would have to do with them extending that to their domestic car industry, and they would have no ‘fear’ of RBR having full knowledge of said IP as it relates to F1, as Red Bull are not in the domestic car industry.

              Max has made the best possible decision based on everything he knows from within the walls of RBR of which we are not privy. He’ll have seen Honda staying committed to RBR for longer than was expected and that only reassures him further as to why RBR is the place to be, amongst a myriad of other factors.

    6. Well, I would put that decision in the courageous category, unless both parties have a clear opt-out clause for specific deficiencies in performance.

      1. @johnrkh Of course you would, lol.

      2. You need courage in F1.
        So it’s a good match.
        But if the leaked figures are right, those salaries are ridiculous.

        1. erikje Yeah that’s a lot of money, now it’s up to RB to supply him with a competitive car. That’s where I think it gets risky for Verstappen. I have no doubt he’ll keep up his side of the deal.

          1. @johnrkh Wow a fairly positive post, lol ;) I do get what you are saying about ‘risk’ which is always present for all drivers to some degree I suppose, however, I don’t think it could possibly be anything that is of concern to Max without him purposely trying to crystal ball his own future, and needlessly worrying and speculating on that. I think he has utter confidence in RBR and their plans, and he is utterly in love with his team, so any risk, as in, unknown about how well they will compete going forward, pales in comparison to what he would imagine at another team starting all over. And what other team? He is with RBR, his family, for good or bad, through thick and thin, together, and wouldn’t have it any other way. That includes as per our other conversation RBR heading towards making their own pus in-house. That is exactly what RBR should be doing as a team of their calibre, so methinks for Max in his mind it is only onward and upward.

            Even just taking what RBR were able to do in conjunction with Honda post-Mac shows to Max what a great team this is. But then, we knew they were great from SV’s run, and then they got sidelined being a customer to a poor pu in a new era that is meant for factory works teams to have the upper hand due to the crucial marriage of pu to chassis. We saw how quickly RBR were able to work with Honda and not only provide the atmosphere and cooperation with chassis designs etc for Honda to get that pu to where it needed to be, but to start to head themselves towards something closer to a works deal and away from the customer setting. For all intents and purposes, and for the same reason Max lost more points throughout the season than LH through no fault of his own, so too could we say RBR were right in the thick of the WCC fight and could easily have snatched that too when one considers their sheer performance on it’s own. Max lead more laps than all drivers combined including LH.

            Nah, if this is ‘risky’ for Max, I’d like to know what would have been less risky. A shorter contract length in case he needs to move? I think if things somehow turned such that Max felt he needed to leave, and of course that would go hand in hand with someone else having a better option for him, well, as they say you can’t force a driver to drive for you if he doesn’t want to, so such would be the demand for a driver of Max’s calibre, it would only be about some money for breaking a RBR contract, clauses aside, and that would be paid by his alleged new and ‘less risky’ team. But I really can’t see that happening but of course one never knows, but obviously Max is willing to take the ‘chance.’

            1. Yes what was I thinking @robbie, there is no way a super team like Redbull could ever make the mistakes of one of those second rate amateurs like Ferrari, Williams, Lotus, McLaren just to name a few and make a mistake that sends their championship hopes down the drain.

            2. @johnrkh As I said of course one never knows, but the point is the last thing that is on Max’s mind would be that which you are expressing in your most recent 4 lines. Or he likely would not have signed for as long as he has. What he has seen though, subject of course to what we about to learn of these new cars and where they actually sit amongst each other, is that Ferrari, Williams, Lotus, or McLaren are not where he needs nor wants to be. Are you suggesting one of those would be less risky for Max? Worth the move? When he was still under contract with RBR before he added some years to it? You suggesting he is taking a risk does not equate to Max also thinking he is taking a risk.

    7. Great deal for them. They work well together.
      These long term deals have me a bit uneasy. Max is locked down long term, so is Charles and Lando. F1 already have a problem with the shortage of seats. More of these contracts could hurt young drivers trying to get in

      1. @suwperman: Not denying the problems young drivers face trying to enter F1.. But at the same time it is unlikely a team would drop a Max, a Charles or a Lando for a new driver anyway in the years that they have on their contracts anyway?

        1. Absolutely, unless they pull a vettel 2014\2020.

    8. It’s not like he had a lot of options. He burned his bridges with Binotto when he accused them of cheating, and Merc wouldn’t take him after ’21, plus he doesn’t fit their corporate image. Too expensive for McLaren…..

      1. Never ceases to amaze me how a group of like-minded individuals (all of us) watch the same events unfold week after week and draw polar opposite conclusions from them.

        1. @aussierod “polar opposite conclusions” is being kind.

      2. well, they were cheating, so he didn’t say anything wrong there

      3. Mercedes is a German company was would glady work with Max as he speaks German which is great for Germany sales promo’s.

        1. Eh, no. Max does not fit the german market at all. The dutch aren’t seen too positive in Germany as much as they were a decade ago. Their buying up of real estate, cluttering the city centers and parking spaces as well as their behaviour during the pandemic has changed that quite a bit.

          1. Noframingplease (@)
            3rd March 2022, 17:08

            @kuvemar Yes, the dutch doing shopping in germany during a pandemic and buying real estate. That should be a reason indeed not to give him a contract😂. Ever been in holland when germany was closed during the pandemic or been in zeeland where half the province is in german hands. I think not, otherwise…..

      4. What happened in 2021 that would make Mercedes not signing him? Nothing. All teams would sign Verstappen if given the opportunity. Maybe Mercedes wouldn’t pair him with Hamilton. But maybe they would. Could be worth the risk.

    9. Good.
      He appears to be the only guy capable of getting the most out of the RB so it makes sense for all involved including the fans I would say.

      1. That’s true.

    10. I believe Verstappen when he says he truly loves that team. I also believe him when he says that winning one world title was enough to validate his career. He’s now going to stay, cash in, and maybe get more world titles, but if he doesn’t, he is at the place where he feels at home. Totally understandable. Quite endearing (if not for the massive pay raise).

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has the option now to do stuff like lemans next to his f1 work.

        1. I would love to follow his career if he decided to chase the Triple crown.
          He is young enough to give it serious attempt I would say.

          1. He was already planning Le mans with his dad so it’s not strange if he went for it.

    11. Wholly expectable, especially after recent indications, but even before.

    12. Interesting how different this is to his main competitor, who flirts with leaving the sport or going to Ferrari & keeps signing short contracts.

      It’s hard to see this as a bad move, aside from unexpected changes. Red Bull seems more capable than Ferrari at delivering and Red Bull seems a good cultural fit.

      1. It just had to be you bringing in Lewis in such a negative way on a story that has nothing to do with him. Flirting with Ferrari is pure speculation on your part. The way you make it sound, you’d imagine he’s been hopping from team to team and yet he’s only been with two teams in his entire F1 career. You know, same as Max… :-)

        1. @Emma

          Lewis himself said that driving for Ferrari was a goal for him, in September of last year. He also said that the reason why he didn’t get to drive for them was that Ferrari never asked him.

          And I never said that Lewis’ behavior was worse. It’s interesting that you deem my accurate description to be negative. Sounds to me like you would have a negative opinion about Lewis’ behavior, if you’d not be so biased…

          The way you make it sound, you’d imagine he’s been hopping from team to team and yet he’s only been with two teams in his entire F1 career.

          You are just making things up now. I never said any of this.

          1. @aapje

            If you never said Lewis’ behaviour has been less honourable, you certainly implied it. As Emma says, two teams in 16 years so far.

            1. @phil-f1-21

              I merely noted that he seems to have less commitment. If you consider that to be less honourable, then that is a value judgment that you projected onto this. I never said so.

              I do find it interesting how people respond to this, which tells me a lot more about their beliefs, than that they are right about mine.

              As Emma says, two teams in 16 years so far.

              There is still a difference between re-signing late and for a shorter time, or committing. Keeping your options open does speak to less commitment, even if you keep picking the same thing, because no better option came along. And Lewis has suggested that what kept him from jumping to Ferrari was a lack of interest on their end, not on his end.

            2. @aapje I think you are skating on thin ice here. Did LH really ‘flirt with leaving the sport’ in any kind of significant way, or was that all just mostly hype made from a comment TW made in the aftermath of the last race and then drawn along over the following months by media? Sounds to me like LH just needed to step back and breath.

              Going to Ferrari? I’m not sure what exactly LH said on that, but I personally have never gotten the vibe that he really wanted to go their badly (certainly not once he was in dominant Mercedes cars), and even if he said they never asked, I would think that if LH wanted to go there he would have made it happen by going to them with great enthusiasm. He wouldn’t have just waited for them to ask. So this could have just come from comments LH said when LH was being LH. But to me it doesn’t really add up to anything of any substance.

              Keeping signing short contracts? Yeah who knows why he never signed for 6 straight years or what have you, nor presumably did Mercedes try to insist on that, but just as one might argue that is out of being flighty or noncommittal on LH’s part, one could also argue that was from confidence in his relationship with the team and they in him.

              Bottom line for me is the last thing one could or should accuse LH of is being of lesser commitment to his team. “Keeping your options open” is just you wording it that way to try to suit your argument and does not mean that is what LH or Mercedes have been doing with the types of contracts they have signed over the years.

            3. @robbie

              I think that “keeping his options open” is a fairly good way to describe interviews like this one from early last year:

              “That will be a constant discussion through the year, I’m sure. And in terms of whether this is where I want to continue, if this is the road I want to continue down, it will come to me, I’m sure.

              “I’m fully invested in this season and in delivering. I still love what I do. I’m just generally in a fortunate position that I don’t have to commit to multiple years. So I chose to have a one-year deal so I could see how the year goes.”

              He pretty clearly says that he only wanted to commit to one year and wanted to keep his options open.

              In general, I’ve been countering arguments just by pointing what Lewis himself has said, but apparently that is not relevant somehow.

            4. @aapje I am always one that prefers to react to actual quotes, or at least when I paraphrase I try to be as accurate as possible with the intention of what was said. It probably would have helped a bit if you had lead with this quote, but to me it doesn’t support your point anyway.

              Your implication from the start was that LH has had less commitment and you have highlighted that by comparing to Max’s new extension and the commitment that shows. The thing is, I’m very sure LH said what you have referenced when he was being pressed as to why he and TW were taking so long for him to re-sign, and really all along the message we got from them was there was no hurry, they just had fine details to sort out. And was there ever anything of any substance whatsoever that might have suggested or hinted that LH was going to even merely consider let along act on a move to another team?

              The key thing for me is that I really don’t think anyone thought that by LH seeming to want to ‘keep his options open’ that meant going to a new team. If anything, I believe all LH meant was that he wanted to take it a year at a time now in case he decides to make one of the coming seasons his last. Surely you don’t believe that LH was ever going to go to another team for his last few seasons, when he’s got the WCC car? Many suspect that had LH won the WDC last year he might have left it at that and made that his last year, although I still think LH will want it well known to the world when he is on his last season as he will want to enjoy the season long fanfare that would come with that. There’s no way imho he is going to just say at the end of a season, ok, that was my last and I won’t be here next year.

              So again, bottom line for me is that you have presented nothing that supports the suggestion that LH has been less committed to Mercedes based on his lesser length contracts than the likes of Norris and Max now have shown commitment to their respective teams. I don’t believe that TW ever has had any doubt about LH’s commitment to his team, nor imho has TW ever had a second of worry that LH had his eyes peering elsewhere, nor even that another team was trying to poach him.

            5. @robbie

              Just like most people here, you are responding more to things I didn’t say then those I did…

      2. They’re in entirely different stages of their careers. In 2028, Lewis will be 43 years old. Of course he’s not signing 5-year extensions.

        1. @sjaakfoo

          Sure, but he’s been signing 1-2 year contracts for a while now.

      3. @aapje They are at very different points in their careers, and I think RBR are a completely different culture than Mercedes. Lewis seemingly has to have that threat of leaving to get more money, whereas Red Bull are seemingly willingly throwing money at Max, especially while he is clearly outperforming anyone in the sister car. It wasn’t long ago that Lewis lost a championship to his teammate (who no one thought was anything more than an average driver), in a 2 horse race, so Merc knows they could slot almost anyone in that drive and get great results.

        Plus, I think Lewis’ experience getting nudged out of McClaren may impact his negotiations, even though publically Toto is 500% supportive of Hamilton, behind the scenes he knows he holds all the cards, the Merc board used to make the final decisions, so it is likely more bean counters than racers influencing those older contracts.

        RB are likely all racers, so any racer wants talent like Max and is willing to keep them at almost any cost. Add to that they lost a couple of drivers they didn’t expect to lose the last few years, so keeping Max is important to them, arguably more important than Merc keeping Lewis.

      4. Max is a lot younger of course.
        He has years yet before he turns into a Diva and flirts with Ferrari.

        I’m fairly sure that could happen someday ;)

        1. It already seems to be happening: http://i.imgur.com/BOfjbbJ.png

          ;)

          1. You do realise that that image is going to haunt me now for the rest of the season! LOL ;P

    13. Maybe Audi/Porsche had a say in this. They may have wanted Max to commit long term. It is expected Audi/Porsche will join Redbull in 2026.

      1. @amg44 I highly doubt Audi/Porsche had any say. Even if the rumours turn out to be true that there will be some sort of partnership with VAG in 2026, I don’t think RBR are ever again going to be dependent on another entity for their pus. My understanding is that come 2026 RBR will be able to be wholly independent and capable of making their own pus. If there is to be a deal with Porsche imho from what Horner has indicated that sort of deal would mean Porsche bringing knowledge and personnel and money to Red Bull Powertrains in exchange for advertising, for RBR have well learned the lesson that in order to succeed in F1 now you must be a factory works team doing everyone in house, such is the crucial marriage of pu to chassis.

        So to me, sure there might be a deal between RBR and VAG, but at a bare minimum there is no way this means RBR will be a customer for Porsche pus. They will never be a customer again. They will be making their own pus in-house come 2026 with or without contribution from VAG. At least that’s my prediction based on what Horner said when he announce the formation of their Powertrains Unit and their goals going forward.

    14. Good for him. I hope Red Bull continues to produce cars worthy of his talent.

      1. Absolutely. Well put.

    15. Great news for Max and Red Bull.
      Max and Red Bull are clearly on the same frequency.
      And now they have a good engine and an engine manufacturer with similar ambitions. Red Bull has taken its future into its own hands.
      It’s now up to Newey and his team to deliver a competitive car and another championship could be on the table.

      Finally F1 is making some strides in the right direction!

    16. And with it the dream of seeing Hamilton and Verstappen in the same car dies

      1. I doubt the two could or would work together. Team synergy is important in F1.

      2. @philipgb I doubt any team would pay what would likely be 120m a year on two drivers.

      3. @philipgb Was anyone really dreaming of that? Or, put another way, that was only ever a dream in some fans’ slumber, but was never in the cards in reality.

        1. @robbie

          Unrealistic I know but now all but certain to never happen

          But as a fan I can’t think of any reason not to want the two best drivers, maybe even the two best of all time in the same car

          As good as last year was in fairly even cars, it would be incredible in equal cars

          1. maybe even the two best of all time in the same car

            There still is the double F1 car.

          2. @philipgb Oh for sure I’m with you there. Incredible it would be indeed.

            Hey you’re talking to the guy that so so hoped that after JV won the WDC in 97 only to then find himself in a Williams whose engine was no longer being developed, that JV would go to Ferrari to go head to head with MS, all the while putting the historical number 27 and Villeneuve name back on a Ferrari for what could have been an epic pairing akin to what you are suggesting.

            Of course that was naive thinking, and of course when JV and other drivers were asked about driving beside MS they all said that it would be great but that there would be no way they could trust that they were getting equal and fair opportunity on ‘MS’s team.’ As we know Ferrari had no intention whatsoever of hiring a competitor as a teammate for MS. Mosley and BE preferred to manufacture the storyline of MS ending Ferrari’s WDC drought by weighing everything heavily in MS’s favour to do that, and of course for me the much more enthralling storyline would have been to let MS and JV decide that on the track fair and square.

        2. I only dream of non-F1 things, but as far as F1 team pairings go, yes, that would be top of my list. All of the tension, competition, close racing of 2021 without the endless debates on what car is better.

          1. Moi Of course the debates wouldn’t end though, e.g. LH in 2016 basically accusing Mercedes of wanting Nico to win lol, such that some of his fans jumped on the conspiracy theory wagon to the point where TW had to publish a letter to the public explaining about how much integrity there is in reality at Mercedes, defending the 1500 staff on the team.

    17. doesn’t that make him the highest paid driver on the grid now? Last i heard Hamilton was somewhere between $30-40m but i can’t remember exactly

      1. RandomMallard
        3rd March 2022, 18:46

        @lancer033 I think Hamilton’s current deal is believed to be about £40 million. Verstappen’s is somewhere between $40-55 million, which would be somewhere between about £30-42 million (approx). So if it’s towards the upper end of that boundary, yes, it would be the most expensive deal on the grid, but equally it may be just below. No one except RB’s management/finance staff and the Verstappen’s will ever truly know I expect.

        And of course this doesn’t take into account things like inflation, so I don’t know about Senna’s famous 1993 deal of $1 million a race. I think inflation from back then is about double, and that would be 16 rounds times $2 million in modern money, so that’s a pretty lucrative deal as well. Don’t know about other contracts from back then.

        1. @RandomMallard

          Most likely there are performance bonuses, so the actual value can only be calculated afterwards, even by RB and Max.

    18. I wonder if Porsche had a say in this. We jump on the train with RB only if Verstappen is a part of the deal.

    19. Insecure move by redbull all the regulations change every time and they can’t give max a reliable teammate

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