Max Versatappen is the youngest ever racer winner in F1 after having debuted in the sport at the age of 17 in 2015. Ferrari and Mercedes gave Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas one year contract extensions for 2018 earlier this year in a hope that they could get hold of the flying Dutchman for the future but Max’s contract did come as a surprise as he extended it till 2020.
This move has caught the paddock by surprise. As Verstappen’s previous deal was only through 2019, his new contract adds an extension of another year but he could have had his salary increased by a hefty sum. Earlier, Red Bull Team Prinicipal Christian Horner said Verstappen has the good opportunity to build the team around himself and the driver seems to have taken that vital position.
Red Bull has struggled to match the pace of Ferrari and Mercedes this year but are enjoying a late turn in fortunes which will bode well for next year. Verstappen’s contract extension also means the star driver stays for long even if the other half of the garage sees a new one coming. With Aston Martin becoming title sponsor and potential technical involvement lying ahead, Verstappen certainly fancies a title opportunity in this contractual time.
Verstappen’s retention signifies a major intention for Red Bull and a much-needed stimulus following months of speculation about their driver line-up and engine plans. Renault, the current engine supplier of Red Bull, has informed they will cease to be their suppliers by the end of next season but Marko who wants to make him the youngest ever world champion revealed that suitable plans are outlined already.