Max Verstappen Red Bull F1 Contract Details: Will the ‘10–15’ Years Oath Materialize?

Published 12/29/2021, 4:10 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah


Max Verstappen has undoubtedly put Red Bull back on the map. After a seven-year drought, Verstappen’s brought in the rain; and he loves it. The newly crowned champion famously celebrated on his radio: “I love you so much…Can we do this for another 10, 15 years together?” 

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Now, although that combination may be a force to be reckoned with, Verstappen’s contract with Red Bull says otherwise. However, will the team be ready to give away the generational talent to someone else?

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

It wasn’t the last time Verstappen had used the ’10-15′ statement; later in press conferences and even his FIA gala speech, Verstappen claimed: “hopefully I can stay with them for 10,15 more years! I think we all agree to that. So, I hope, of course, that we can do this for many more years, altogether, with Red Bull Racing.”

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But even though it is all said and done with the adrenaline of the championship, and the champagne that comes with it, how far can this partnership really go, at least contractually?

What does Max Verstappen’s contract currently say?

For now, Verstappen can continue competing for championships with Red Bull till 2023. After that, he can either get his contract extended or, if things go south, move to another team. But it also gets more complicated.

The Dutchman also has a performance clause in his contract with Red Bull. Verstappen’s title-holding predecessor, Sebastian Vettel, set an example. In 2015, the German triggered such a clause, giving him an exit to Ferrari. Helmut Marko had explained“He didn’t break his contract. There was a clause in his contract that he could go and recently he told us.”

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 02: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing talks with Dr Helmut Marko as he prepares to drive during practice for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Further, when the announcement was made, Vettel was in an unusual P5 in the drivers’ standing, with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo ahead of him.

Vettel aside, Max Verstappen seems to have a similar clause. Team principal Christian Horner revealed, “There is an element of performance-related to Max’s contract. I’m not going to go into what that is. It doesn’t relate to the power unit in any way, it’s just a binary performance at a certain measurement in time.”

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Horner also believes the relationship goes beyond the paper; the dynamic the team shares with its driver and vice versa also plays a crucial role in such matters.

Is Red Bull looking to keep Max Verstappen?

Currently, Red Bull might look to keep their champion for as long as they can. At least, that’s what they have said. Dr. Marko revealed little when asked if an extension was on the table. “We will discuss and perhaps conclude an extension,” was the steely reply.

Christian Horner may have found his new Golden Boy. Horner will be with Milton Keynes for another five years, thanks to his recent extension. However, will Verstappen accompany him on the ride?

Horner is the proud father in the team Verstappen labels family. “He’s grown up with us. He joined us as a 16-year-old and we’ve seen him mature into the young man that he is.“He’s come of age, we’ve seen him grow. We’ve seen him make his mistakes, but we’ve seen him mature into the world champion that he is today.”

Further, Adrian Newey too joins the fan club. “There are no airs, no pretenses. He just comes in and gets on with it. I love the guy, he’s amazing.”

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However, this is being all too idealistic. Undoubtedly, Verstappen would want to stay with the team for as long as he’s in F1; making a pairing that would shake the sport. However, there are so many external factors that affect such situations.

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Taking Vettel as a reference, it’s unlikely a teammate will shadow Max or another team appeals to him. For Vettel, Ricciardo was the newbie who outdid him, and the calls of following Schumacher’s footsteps in Ferrari trumped those of Red Bull. Further, the team had reached a slump in performance.

Looking at things without the rose-tinted glasses, if the team and Verstappen were to split, it would be the driver’s move. Emotions fuel the current statements being made and seldom do fairytales come true in Formula 1. Simply put, his shared ambition and prowess got him into Red Bull, and the same will determine their journey together. Ideally, it could be a pairing that could go down in F1 history as one of the best.

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Shreya Sanjeev

779 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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