Red Bull have confirmed that Max Verstappen has signed a new long-term contract with the team ahead of the new Formula One season. The Dutchman, who will be looking to defend his Drivers’ Championship title over the coming months, will now be paid the same annual salary as Lewis Hamilton after striking a lucrative deal worth around £40million per year.
The 24-year-old’s stock has never been higher after securing his maiden F1 title in dramatic fashion at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix back in December. He voiced his desire to stay with Red Bull for the rest of his career shortly after the chequered flag dropped at the Yas Marina Circuit. The Austrian outfit have since moved quickly to secure Verstappen’s future by tying him down to a lucrative new deal that will see him become F1’s joint-highest paid driver alongside Hamilton.
He is understood to have visited Red Bull’s factory in Milton Keynes earlier this week to thrash out the final details of his agreement, which is set to run until the end of 2028. Verstappen has been tentatively linked with a surprise move to Mercedes in recent years but it now seems highly unlikely that he will leave Red Bull for the Silver Arrows at any point in the near future.
Verstappen has been tentatively linked with a surprise move to Mercedes in recent years but it now seems highly unlikely that he will leave Red Bull for the Silver Arrows at any point in the near future. “I really enjoy being part of the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team, so choosing to stay to the 2028 season was an easy decision,” said Verstappen.
“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.” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: “To have Max signed with Oracle Red Bull Racing through to the end of 2028 is a real statement of intent.
“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 begin his title defence at the Bahrain
Grand Prix later this month as he looks to seal back-to-back triumphs in his eighth season on the grid. He entered the sport at the age of 17 with Toro Rosso in 2015 and won his first race with Red Bull on his debut for the team at the Spanish Grand Prix back in 2016. His first and only Drivers’ Championship triumph to date was achieved under hugely controversial circumstances ahead of Hamilton at last year’s decisive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver led for the vast majority of the contest and looked set to win a record-breaking eighth title until the safety car was called out in the wake of Nicholas Latifi’s late crash. Race director Michael Masi, who has since been relieved of his duties by the FIA, then gave Verstappen the opportunity to fight back when he allowed the
Red Bull man to move through the field by asking only the five lapped cars between himself and Hamilton to overtake the safety car. Masi’s decision caused plenty of controversy as a result of the widely-held belief that all lapped cars should have been required to un-lap themselves in such a situation. Verstappen went on to nip ahead of Hamilton on much fresher tyres during the one-lap shootout that followed to claim his first title before Mercedes
launched an unsuccessful bid to challenge the race result. He will be desperate to follow up with another successful campaign by keeping his British rival at arm’s length once again over the coming months.