Red Bull consider early contract extension with Verstappen F1
The Dutchman won his first F1 championship trophy at the FIA ââawards gala in Paris on Thursday night, just days after his victory in the final round of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s current contract runs until the end of 2023, and he’s said on several occasions since his success this weekend that he wants to stay with his current squad for the next ten to 15 years.
While in no rush to think about the future, Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko has revealed that he plans to start talks on the way to a new long-term deal. .
Verstappen is due to visit Red Bull’s headquarters in Salzburg soon and then see Marko himself in his Graz office, where talks could begin to sort out the issues.
In an interview with Motorsport.com’s partner site in Germany, Formel1.de, Marko revealed that contract negotiations would be on the agenda with Verstappen manager Raymond Vermeulen when they met.
âWe’ll see,â Marko said in the YouTube video. “We will discuss and maybe conclude an extension.”
Verstappen himself has made no secret of the fact that he thinks Red Bull has become a “family” for him, as he sees every reason to stay there.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
“It’s like that, because I think you also heard on my radio, on the lap, asking me if I could stay another 10/15 years,” he said at the FIA ââgala .
“So I’m very happy where I am. And I can also be myself, and that, I think, is also very important. And it’s not just about F1: we can have fun, we can have a good laugh. .
“I think that’s also important. Because it’s not just about performance, you also have to appreciate what you do.”
While a quick decision to extend Verstappen’s contract would ensure rival Mercedes couldn’t poach him, Marko doesn’t think there is a chance the youngster will look elsewhere on the F1 grid.
And above all, he thinks that the events of this year, including the collision between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix, have been a game-changer for his driver.
“There is no such danger,” Marko said of the prospects for a Mercedes offer. “Too much has been destroyed at Silverstone.”
Marko says Verstappen is hands down the best driver Red Bull has ever had, and he sees parallels with the late Ayrton Senna.
“[He is] the fastest, most consistent and most aggressive rider we’ve ever had, âhe said.
“These two drivers are comparable in their mentality, their personality and their aggressiveness. We are lucky to have someone like that.”