Red Bull extends Max Verstappen's contract until 2020 Formula 1 season
Red Bull Racing has announced a contract extension for Max Verstappen, which will see the Dutch driver remain with the team until the 2020 Formula 1 season.
"Red Bull has always shown their faith and belief in me with actions; inviting me in to the young driver programme as a 16-year-old, then giving me my start in Formula One when I was just 17, and then the opportunity to race with Red Bull Racing where I had such a dream start with this team," said Verstappen.
"They have always backed me and my ambition and I know we share that ambition. Their support, from the guys and girls in the factory through to the crew in the garage, no matter what plays out on the race track, has always been 100 per cent.
"We've also had some fun times! I'm very happy to commit further to Red Bull Racing and I'm looking forward to working together to enjoy more success in the years to come."
The 20-year-old made headlines when he was fast-tracked to F1 in 2015 with Toro Rosso, coming off straight from his sole season in the FIA European F3 Championship.
He finished a solid 12th in his rookie season, but a big breakthrough came in 2016 when he was graduated to the senior team after the first four races in the season, replacing Daniil Kvyat.
Straightaway, the Dutch teen made impact, winning his maiden grand prix in his first outing with Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix - eventually finishing the season in fifth position.
Even though his 2017 season has been unforgiving with seven retirements, but a victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix shows the immense talent he posses.
Christian Horner commented: "We are delighted that Max has agreed to extend his contract with Red Bull Racing. We had a phenomenal start together in Spain last year and Max has only pushed on from there.
"It was a great moment for the whole team to see him put the frustrations of this season behind him in taking that fantastic victory in Malaysia last month.
"He is pure racer, with an undeniable talent at the wheel and a rare instinct for what it takes to compete consistently at this level.
"Coupled with a committed work ethic and a mature approach to learning his craft that belies his years, Max is right to be hungry for success and we are looking forward to extending that journey with him in our hunt for Formula One World Championships.
"As we now look to the long term with Max he is in the best place in the sport to build a team around him to deliver our shared ambition."
With expected clauses in the contract, this, for now, puts off Verstappen from the driver market - which may hurt Mercedes, who were interested in signing the young driver.
This announcement also means the team will field the same line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen in 2018 - with the deal for the Australian running out at the end of 2018, thereby opening a seat for 2019 and beyond.