More controversy as Max Verstappen issues a new threat to F1 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as new season nears

More controversy as Max Verstappen issues a new threat to F1 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as new season nears

 

Red Bull star Max Verstappen has warned F1 rivals and Lewis Hamilton that he and the team are ‘definitely not done’ ahead of the new season. The 24-year-old has penned a new deal with Christian Horner’s team. And he’ll now be looking to repay the faith they’ve shown in him during his career so far.

Verstappen’s new contract with Red Bull has been announced, with the Dutchman now one of F1’s biggest earners.

 

He will earn in the region of £40million now, putting him on a par with Lewis Hamilton at the top of the salary standings.

For Verstappen, his new deal is a reward after he beat Hamilton to Formula One glory at the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month.

 

 

And he’s now issued a threat to his rivals by insisting the team were ‘definitely not done’.

“Really proud to announce that @redbullracing will be my home until at least 2028,” he stated.“I love this team and I am very happy to continue this amazing journey we are on for a long time. “We have accomplished so much together already but we are definitely not done.”

Speaking after penning a new deal, he said: “I really enjoy being part of Red Bull Racing, so choosing to stay to the 2028 season was an easy decision.

 

 

More controversy as Max Verstappen issues a new threat to F1 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as new season nears

“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 Horner, meanwhile, couldn’t resist a sly dig at Hamilton.

He’s labelled Verstappen the ‘best driver on the grid’, while also hailing Verstappen’s decision to renew as a ‘real statement of intent’.

“To have Max signed with Red Bull through to the end of ‘28 is a real statement of intent,” he said. “Our immediate focus is on retaining Max’s world championship title, but this deal also shows he is part of the team’s long-term planning.

 

 

More controversy as Max Verstappen issues a new threat to F1 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as new season nears

“Our immediate focus is on retaining Max’s world championship title, but this deal also shows he is 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 and Red Bull will now be looking to build a dynasty.

Their victory last season gives them the perfect chance to show they can keep Mercedes and other F1 teams at bay as they look to close the gap.

Verstappen’s decision to sign a new deal is also a continuation of a trend of leading drivers signing long-term agreements.

 

 

More controversy as Max Verstappen issues a new threat to F1 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as new season nears

years ago that runs until 2025, while Lando Norris recently penned a new deal that ties him to the team until that same year.

Meanwhile, speaking before he renewed his Red Bull deal, Verstappen 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.

 

 

More controversy as Max Verstappen issues a new threat to F1 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as new season nears

“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.”

 

 

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