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Verstappen on important RB18 factor: 'Investing heavily in the engine'

Verstappen on important RB18 factor: 'Investing heavily in the engine'

26-12-2022 12:53 Last update: 23:26


At the start of the 2022 season, Max Verstappen signed a mega contract with Red Bull Racing until 2028. In Verstappen - Lion Unleashed 2 from Viaplay, manager Raymond Vermeulen looks back at the talks with the team on the long-term deal.

In 2021, Red Bull and Verstappen finally managed to fight it out for the world title after years of collaboration. In the season finale in Abu Dhabi, the Dutchman managed to overtake his title rival Lewis Hamilton for victory on the very last lap of the race. "Can we do this together for another 10 or 15 years?", shouted Verstappen over the board radio afterwards.

Talks between Verstappen and Red Bull 'natural'

A few months later, even before the new season had officially started, news broke that Verstappen will drive for Red Bull until 2028. His previous contract ran until the end of 2023 and was thus broken open early. Vermeulen reveals that negotiations with Red Bull went naturally. The Dutchman was immediately called by Helmut Marko after Verstappen's statement.

"We worked for a few weeks, and the deal was done. It was a very natural conversation and negotiation. We made a deal, it’s a long-term deal. I think it was something that was important for Red Bull to have Max on board on the long-term future, because they are investing heavily in their power trains. We felt very comfortable with joining and signing up with Red Bull long-term. The deal was pretty easy forward", Vermeulen says in the film on Viaplay.

Red Bull has had its own engine department called Red Bull Powertrains since last season. The department was set up after the departure of Honda at the end of 2021. The Japanese car brand will be back on Red Bull's car next year after the two strengthened their partnership. However, Red Bull wants to continue building the engine itself from 2026, when the new engine regulations take effect.