Max Verstappen: Formula 1 world champion signs new Red Bull contract until 2028
Max Verstappen confirmed at Red Bull until at least end of 2028; Christian Horner hails "statement of intent" by extending "best driver on grid"; new contract will net him around £40m a year, putting him on par with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton
Last Updated: 03/03/22 12:46pm
Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has committed his future to Red Bull until the end of the 2028 season, with his mega contract extension confirmed.
The new deal, reported by Sky Sports News on Wednesday, adds another five years on Verstappen's stay with the team he joined as a teenager back in 2016 - and with whom he won his maiden title last season.
It will also earn him just over £40m a year, putting him on par with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
"Choosing to stay to the 2028 season was an easy decision," said Verstappen, who claimed after winning his maiden title last year that he wanted to stay with the team "for life".
"I love this team and last year was simply incredible, our goal since we came together in 2016 was to win the championship and we have done that, so now it's about keeping the No 1 on the car long-term."
Verstappen's previous deal ran until 2023, but his new commitment means he has the longest contract on the whole F1 grid, and he will be 31 by the time it ends.
"To have Max signed with Oracle Red Bull Racing through to the end of 2028 is a real statement of intent," stated team boss Christian Horner.
"Our immediate focus is on retaining Max's world championship title, but this deal also shows he is a part of the team's long-term planning.
"With the Red Bull Powertrains division working towards the new engine regulations for 2026 we wanted to make sure we had the best driver on the grid secured for that car."
Verstappen claimed his first world championship title in 2021 after edging out seven-time champion Hamilton in a controversial finish at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.
The Dutchman will begin his title defence on March 20 when the 2022 season gets under way in Bahrain.
Don't miss Duel on Sky Sports!
The story of Verstappen and Hamilton's fascinating title tussle last season will be charted in an original two-part Sky Sports documentary airing on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports F1 from 7pm on Sunday, March 6.
Duel: Hamilton vs Verstappen - which is also available On Demand from March 6 and then on Sky Showcase and Sky Documentaries from Monday, March 7 - will include exclusive interviews with Verstappen, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and Mercedes chief Toto Wolff.
We will also hear from a host of former world champions, plus pundits and journalists as they reflect on one of the greatest Formula 1 seasons of all time and a quite epic title battle.
What we learned from the first F1 test
Mercedes and Red Bull do not look to have dropped the ball in F1's new regulations, but there are promising signs for new battles with Ferrari and McLaren in the hunt.
Sky Sports F1 writer Matt Morlidge reflects on the first pre-season F1 test in Barcelona.
Verstappen's rise to F1 world champion
Matt Morlidge and James Galloway chart Verstappen's evolution, from teenage protege to Formula 1's 34th world champion.
Watch Duel: Hamilton vs Verstappen on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports F1 from 7pm on Sunday.