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What Verstappen's mega-deal means for Red Bull and F1

What Verstappen's mega-deal means for Red Bull and F1

F1 News

What Verstappen's mega-deal means for Red Bull and F1

What Verstappen's mega-deal means for Red Bull and F1

Reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen this week extended his stay with Red Bull in one of the biggest deals in the sport's history.

The contract, understood to be worth in the region of €40million per year, runs to the end of 2028.

Whilst this extension is no surprise given the Dutchman's comments at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, where he proclaimed his love for the Red Bull team, what does the magnitude of the deal mean for him, Red Bull and F1 in general?

Max Verstappen

Let's begin with the obvious.

For Verstappen, his future has been secured for the two remaining seasons on his previous contract, plus an additional five years with the new deal.

The only driver who comes near to that kind of security is McLaren's Lando Norris, whose recent extension covers his future to the end of 2025.

The timing made perfect sense for the 24-year-old, securing an improved package in the wake of winning his maiden title following an epic season-long battle against one of the greatest drivers of all time.

It has often been said, the team is moulded around Verstappen given the struggles his team-mates have endured alongside him over the years. This contract only moves to reaffirm his status within the team.

Red Bull

There is no reason - or no way - Red Bull would want to have seen Verstappen leave, of course, but the remarkable length of the contract is an indication of the Dutchman's importance.

Over the next seven years, F1 will continue to develop its radical new regulations whilst also ushering in updated power unit rules mid-decade.

By that time, Verstappen may well be the best driver on the grid - if he is not already in some people's eyes - as it is almost certain Hamilton will have retired by then.

With Red Bull embarking on its journey to produce its own power units and strong rumours of a tie-up with the Volkswagen Group - most likely Porsche - for the new regulations, Verstappen adds weight to the German manufacturer's potential entry.

In tandem with Honda, Red Bull was effectively a manufacturer team, and would become so again with another of the world's most powerful motor racing brands on board.

With Verstappen spearheading the driving line-up, that would simply add to its kudos should it join F1.

Aside from any potential power unit deal, the continuity given to the team through the contract will allow both Verstappen and Red Bull to be completely forthright with development data when working between seasons.

Formula 1

For the sport itself, this is where the likes of Red Bull's contract for Verstappen and Mercedes' contract for Hamilton act as power moves.

The introduction of a budget cap was aimed at levelling the playing field across the sport but with drivers excluded from the cost restrictions, teams can spend freely.

It is effectively the last unrestricted element of an F1 team, giving bigger teams like Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari, who do not suffer from financial insecurities, a clear advantage.

What is most intriguing about the Verstappen deal is Dr Helmut Marko's call in recent times for a driver salary cap, making direct reference to Hamilton's earnings.

So with two drivers now comfortably beyond any predicted mark for a potential 2023 cap, any plans from F1 to introduce an upper pay limit for the stars of the sport can effectively be forgotten.

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