What does Max Verstappen's new F1 contract mean for Honda?

07-01-2020 18:30 | Updated: 07-01-2020 19:52
by Matt Gretton
General
What does Max Verstappen's new F1 contract mean for Honda?

Max Verstappen has extended his contract with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing until at least 2023. An interesting move as Red Bull Racing secures one of the drivers with the greatest potential. Last month, Charles Leclerc signed a long-term deal with his Ferrari team. 

It's easy to presume that Verstappen and Leclerc will be battling each other for the duration of the '20s, but others will surely make their mark. One thing that has lifted Verstappen's potential is the Honda engine deal with the Red Bull Racing car. What does this new deal mean for Honda? 

In 2021, a rule and regulation overhaul will hit Formula 1. The current cars must make way for new models. After the coming season, the rules in the royal class of motorsport will be substantially reversed. It seems like a risky choice for a driver to sign a contract that continues after 2021. However, Leclerc and Verstappen show loyalty to their brand and believe they can become champions.

Trust is the keyword. Red Bull Racing have been moving closer and closer to Mercedes and Ferrari in recent years. In 2019 the team made the biggest move. This was largely due to the stability and reliability of material supplied by the new engine supplier. The Honda-Red Bull Racing partnership proved to be strong.

The future

Verstappen relies on what he has seen in the past year. The cooperation between Red Bull Racing and the Japanese has convinced the Dutchman that a championship is coming. The presence of Honda in Formula 1 seems crucial for Verstappen and Red Bull.

In the past season, some stumbling came out every now and then about the future of the engine supplier in F1. The Japanese took their first win in the sport for years, but the brand was still not sure whether it would participate in the F1 after 2020.

With the extension of the Verstappen contract, it seems that both Red Bull Racing and Honda can potentially take over the field. Red Bull Racing will remain at least and Honda really can't help it, given the strong bond with the top driver. 

In their opening year, Verstappen gave so much to Honda. The first pole position, win and podium all within the first half of the season. Surely they've got to repay his performance and trust with loyalty? 

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