Dutch driver Max Verstappen has reportedly signed a mega-deal with Red Bull which will see him earn as much as Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton.
After winning his maiden F1 championship in the previous season, Verstappen is one of the hottest properties in the world of motorsport.
His newest deal will see him stay at the club till he’s 30, which means Red Bull has managed to get him to commit for the next 6 years.
This report comes from the Daily Mail, which goes on to give further details about his newly negotiated terms.
Verstappen will now earn a staggering £40 million a year, which is equivalent to what Hamilton makes as the sport’s most decorated driver.
Verstappen reportedly signed the deal at the team’s factory in Milton Keynes after having agreed to the terms in principle last month.
Verstappen’s current contract makes him the recipient of one of the most lucrative contracts in the history of the sport.
Verstappen has virtually doubled his money
A source at Red Bull told the Daily Mail, “It has all been agreed. Max is staying for a long time, maybe even five years extra. It also equates to a substantial financial rise, virtually doubling his money.”
Verstappen has been billed as a once-in-a-generation driver by some in the past, and he was happy to repay the faith of the Red Bull management by bringing home the championship last year.
As is the case with all top drivers, Verstappen has been linked with a move to a rival team in the past.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is believed to be a long-term admirer of the talented 24-year-old and imagining Verstappen race for the Silver Arrows hasn’t been unfathomable in the past.
However, his latest deal will see him spend a considerable part of his racing career firmly with the team that has helped him hone his skills.
Horner has always rated Verstappen highly
Verstappen will look to begin his defence of the title with the season-opener set to take place in Bahrain just over a fortnight away.
Having had Verstappen as part of the Red Bull unit since 2016, Red Bull boss Christian Horner undoubtedly holds him in high regard. He has spoken in the past about how their relationship was ‘worth more than any piece of paper’.
“After all, for me, relationships are not just about the contract,” he said.
“Neither does Max. When he joined our team (in 2016), he was a boy.
“Now he’s a man. He grew up with our team. The relationship we share, the trust, that’s worth more than any piece of paper.”
Verstappen opens up on controversial win
As the new season gets closer and closer, Verstappen has continued to speak about the controversial nature in which he lifted the drivers’ championship.
He spoken about what was going through his mind when the entire safety car drama unfolded.
“He [Hamilton] didn’t expect me to overtake him there.
“We had less downforce that weekend so we had more top speed, so I wanted to be up front because without DRS I can defend.
“Even if he had come alongside me he could never overtake me because of the top-speed advantage.
“With the grip I had, I went for that corner and defended those other corners.
“I knew I wouldn’t close an 11-second gap in five laps.
“But I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to give up now and drive slowly to the finish line. I’m going to give it my all to make it not look easy’.
“I wasn’t really happy at that moment.”