Verstappen inks long-term contract extension with Red Bull Racing

The reigning Formula One world champion Max Verstappen has signed a new long-term contract extension to remain with the Oracle Red Bull Racing team through the 2028 F1 season, a deal that will commence following his initial contract that spans through 2023.

The 24-year-old Verstappen, who competes under the Dutch flag, is coming off his finest season to date, where he claimed 10 Grand Prix victories and won his maiden Formula One World Championship following a year-long battle and final lap duel with seven-time champion Sir Lewis Hamilton in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in December. In doing so, he became the first Dutchman to win a Formula One title and he delivered the fifth drivers’ championship for Red Bull Racing, a team that has competed in F1 since 2005.

“I really enjoy being part of the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team, so choosing to stay to the 2028 season was an easy decision,” Verstappen said. “I love this Team and last year was simply incredible, our goal since we came together in 2016 was to win the championship and we have done that, so now it’s about keeping the number one on the car long-term.”

Verstappen, who made his Formula One debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso at age 17 in 2015, claimed his maiden Grand Prix victory in his first start with Red Bull Racing at the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2016. In doing so, he became the youngest F1 Grand Prix winner at the age of 18 years and 228 days old. From 2016 through 2020, the Dutchman notched 10 Grand Prix victories, three poles, 42 podiums and two third-place results in the final driver’s standings (2019 and 2020).

Entering the 2022 season, Verstappen has recorded 20 victories, 13 poles, 60 poles and an average-finishing result of 7.0 in 141 career starts in Formula One. In addition, Red Bull Racing, which enters their first season with the newly formed Red Bull Powertrains division after taking over Honda’s engine programme and with Oracle as a title sponsor, have 75 career victories along with 73 poles and 206 podiums as they look to capture their sixth drivers’ championship and first constructors’ title since winning four in a row (2010-2013).

In capturing his maiden F1 world championship in 2021 along with a career-high 10 victories, Verstappen will sport the number 1 instead of 33 on his Red Bull RB18 car as he looks to defend his title.

“To have Max signed with Oracle Red Bull Racing through to the end of 2028 is a real statement of intent,” Christian Horner, CEO/Team Principal of Red Bull Racing, said. “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. 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.”

Verstappen will continue to compete alongside teammate Sergio “Checo” Perez, who enters his 12th full-time season as an F1 competitor with his second as a Red Bull Racing competitor. Perez, a 32-year-old veteran who competes under the Mexican flag, is also coming off a productive season, where he won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June, notched a total of five podiums and finished in fourth place in the 2021 drivers’ standings.

Verstappen’s quest to defend his F1 world championship commences on March 20 at Bahrain International Circuit for the 2022 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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