News of Max Verstappen’s new Red Bull Formula 1 contract reportedly worth around €50m per year may have come as no surprise – but its duration is the big talking point.
In what is understood to be one of the longest contract arrangements in F1 history, Verstappen has committed to Red Bull until the end of the 2028 season. His previous contract ran until the end of 2023, but five years have been added on top, making it a seven-year deal. Putting that into context, the next-longest agreement on the grid, which belongs to Lando Norris, only runs to the end of 2025.
By the time this deal is up, Verstappen will be 31 years old, have 14 seasons under his belt, around 300 race starts, and surely have added a decent amount of race wins to his current tally of 20. The prospect of Verstappen failing to add to his maiden championship from last year also seems unlikely. It’s daunting to think what he may achieve through that period so long as Red Bull can remain one of F1’s forefront teams.
The decision was quite straightforward,” Verstappen said following the announcement. “From both sides, we wanted to continue. From the start, I felt really good in the team, and especially after last year, I only saw one way forward and that was with this team.”
It only further develops the unique story and relationship between Verstappen and Red Bull. By the time this contract is up, Verstappen may be nearing the final couple of agreements of his F1 career – and if the success with Red Bull has continued, why would he look elsewhere?
At this rate, Verstappen could be a Red Bull ‘lifer’. It was the team that took a punt on a 16-year-old in his first season of Formula 3 and handed him his first F1 drive with Toro Rosso; the team that called him up to the senior team just months into his second season, for whom he won his first race; and the team that gave him his first world title. Perhaps it will be the team where he achieves all of his ‘lasts’ as well.
There was never any doubt about Verstappen’s ability. Through his early years at Red Bull, he was able to grab race wins and take the fight to Mercedes on occasion, but the team simply wasn’t in a position to do that on a regular basis. Once it was though, in 2021, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The groundworks are in place for the Red Bull project to only get stronger, even through the budget cap era. The Red Bull Powertrains project is coming together with the expansion of the campus at Milton Keynes, while a possible partnership with Porsche is also understood to be on the horizon. The team has also signed big-money deals with new title sponsor Oracle and crypto company Bybit in recent weeks, ensuring the coffers are well-stocked. All of this is lending strength to a Red Bull operation that has just won a world championship.