RACE DEBRIEF

    World champion Max Verstappen has signed a bumper five-year contract extension with Red Bull, in a deal that will keep him at the team until at least the end of 2028.

    The 24-year-old, who joined the team in 2016, beat Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the 2021 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to clinch his maiden world championship.

    READ MORE: Horner says running #1 on Verstappen's car has 'energised' Red Bull

    His previous deal ran until the end of next season, but both sides were keen to extend what has become a very success partnership.

    Verstappen said: “I really enjoy being part of Red Bull Racing, so choosing to stay to the 2028 season was an easy decision.

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    Verstappen is hoping for more scenes like this in the coming years with Red Bull

    “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.”

    READ MORE: Verstappen says Red Bull RB18 will be 'completely different' for Bahrain's Official Pre-Season Test

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner added: “To have Max signed with Red Bull through to the end of ‘28 is a real statement of intent. 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.”