Breaking: Max Verstappen to stay at Red Bull until the end of 2023
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the future of Max Verstappen - one of F1's most talented young drivers.
All these rumours can come to a close as Red Bull and F1 have confirmed that Max Verstappen has signed on for another 4 years at Red Bull.
Max Verstappen has been a part of the Red Bull family since his debut at Toro Rosso in Australia 2015. Verstappen had a very impressive first season where he showed off his unique overtaking skills in the most unlikely places.
The following year, Max Verstappen took the Red Bull seat of Daniil Kvyat following a disastrous opening part of the season for the Russian. Verstappen went on to win his first ever F1 race on his debut race for Red Bull after the Mercedes' took each other out on Lap 1; and defended P1 brilliantly from Kimi Raikonnen.
Verstappen has since proved he has been worth the investment for Red Bull, taking 7 more wins since and quickly becoming a fan favourite.
During his 5 year career (I cannot believe he has already been in F1 for that long - time flies!), Verstappen has also matured into a driver that is not quite as reckless as he used to be; though he still maintains that aggressive driving style that everybody loves.
There were many rumours around the F1 paddock that Verstappen was looking to swipe the Mercedes seat of Valtteri Bottas - who's contract expires at the end of the 2020 season. Now we know that Verstappen has kept his seat at Red Bull, this opens up the possibility of a different driver taking the Mercedes seat if Bottas doesn't stay with the German manufacturer.
Charles Leclerc is possibly the biggest rival of Max Verstappen. Both drivers started their F1 careers at an incredibly young age, and both got promoted to a championship winning team in their second year in the sport. Leclerc has also decided to stay put, having contracted himself into the Ferrari seat until the end of 2024. I look forward to seeing more of the Max vs Charles battles that started to heat up in 2019 over the next few years.
In a statement, Red Bull's team principal - Christian Horner said: “It is fantastic news for the Team to have extended our agreement with Max up-to and including the 2023 season. 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.”
Horner makes a good point in the fact that the 2021 regulation changes are fast approaching, meaning any team is in the hunt for taking the top step of the podium. Who knows, maybe Leclerc or Verstappen will be world champions next year? Only time will tell...
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