Max Verstappen finished third in the drivers' championship last season but has the potential to become a future world champion. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Max Verstappen has signed a new contract with Red Bull until 2023, the Formula One team announced on Tuesday. The 22-year-old Dutchman's deal was due to expire this year, and he had been earmarked as a potential candidate to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes if the six-time world champion, also out of contract at the end of the season, moves to Ferrari. But Verstappen, an eight-time Grand Prix winner, has now committed his long-term future to Red Bull. The move follows Charles Leclerc's signing of a five-year contract extension with Ferrari last month.
Verstappen, who finished third in the drivers' championship last season, tweeted: "Very proud and happy that @redbullracing will stay my home until 2023. We started this journey together and they have supported me from day 1. I want to win with @redbull and @HondaRacingF1, our goal is to fight for a World Championship together. The best is yet to come! #YesBoys."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "With the challenge of the 2021 regulation changes on the horizon continuity in as many areas as possible is key. "Max has proven what an asset he is to the team. He truly believes in the partnership we have forged with our engine supplier Honda, and we are delighted to have extended our relationship with him."
Max Verstappen underlined his potential as a champion of the future with a commanding victory for Red Bull in an astonishing and crash-hit Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. The 22-year-old Dutchman on Sunday twice passed newly-crowned six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in a thrilling contest that had two safety car interventions and saw the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc clash and retire, before clinching the eighth victory of his career.
His third win this season also made up for his disappointment in last year's race in Brazil when he looked certain to win before a late accident wrecked his hopes of victory. He made the most of pole position and finished a dominant winner ahead of his former Red Bull team-mate Pierre Gasly, now with Toro Rosso, as they delivered a Honda-powered one-two for the Japanese company for the first time since the heyday of local hero Ayrton Senna.