Jos Verstappen has opened up on son Max Verstappen’s new Red Bull contract. The 24-year-old beat Lewis Hamilton to F1 glory last season, triumphing amid controversy at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. And he’s now been rewarded with a fresh deal that will see him pocket £40million annually.
Verstappen was delighted upon signing a new deal with Red Bull on Friday, saying: “I really enjoy being part of the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team, so choosing to stay to the 2028 season was an easy decision.
“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 number one on the car long-term.”
Red Bull chief Christian Horner was also pleased, adding: “To have Max signed with Oracle Red Bull Racing through to the end of 2028 is a real statement of intent.
“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.”
And, now, Verstappen’s father Jos has opened up on his son’s new contract.
He feels the Red Bull driver is the best competitor in the sport at the current moment in time, ahead of Hamilton.
And Jos also believes his son is deserving of his new contract, despite the huge finances involved.
He said: “You’ve all seen the big implications Red Bull has made this winter, and Formula One itself is on the rise.
“I’m not saying it’s just because of Max, but he definitely plays a big role.
“Max deserves it too. He’s the best driver on the market right now.”
He added: “We’ve been with the team since 2016 and you can’t build that relationship anywhere else.”
Now, the onus will be on Verstappen to show what all the fuss is about.
The 24-year-old will go into the opening race in Bahrain this month looking to prove he can outdo Hamilton again.
Winning on that track won’t be easy, however.
Hamilton has dominated there in recent years, with Sebastian Vettel the last person to beat him in the Middle East back in 2018.
And Verstappen will have added pressure on his shoulders now he’s become the latest person to win the F1 Drivers’ Championship.
Meanwhile, speaking before he renewed his Red Bull deal, the Dutchman opened up on what crossed his mind during December’s frantic Abu Dhabi GP.
Speaking on a documentary entitled ‘Verstappen: Lion Unleashed’, the Dutchman said: “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.”
He then added: ”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.”