Max Verstappen extends Red Bull deal to 2020

AUSTIN -- Red Bull has signed a contract extension with Max Verstappen, keeping him at the Formula One team until the end of the 2020 season.

Verstappen moved to Red Bull during the 2016 season after making his debut with the junior Toro Rosso team the year before. He won on his debut with the senior team and, among a series of standout performances in his short career, went on to score his second career victory this year at the Malaysian Grand Prix,

The 20-year-old was already contracted to the team for next season and 2019, but the new deal ensures he stays at Red Bull until the end of 2020.

"Red Bull has always shown their faith and belief in me with actions; inviting me in to the young driver programme as a 16-year-old, then giving me my start in Formula One when I was just 17, and then the opportunity to race with Red Bull Racing where I had such a dream start with this team," Verstappen said.

"They have always backed me and my ambition and I know we share that ambition. Their support, from the guys and girls in the factory through to the crew in the garage, no matter what plays out on the race track, has always been 100 percent. We've also had some fun times! I'm very happy to commit further to Red Bull Racing and I'm looking forward to working together to enjoy more success in the years to come."

Verstappen had been seen as a potential target for Ferrari and Mercedes in future years, but the new deal means he is locked down at Red Bull until the end of the decade. The contract is the same length as Sebastian Vettel's freshly signed deal with Ferrari, meaning both will come back on the F1 driver market at the same time.

"We are delighted that Max has agreed to extend his contract with Red Bull Racing," team boss Christian Horner said. "We had a phenomenal start together in Spain last year and Max has only pushed on from there. It was a great moment for the whole team to see him put the frustrations of this season behind him in taking that fantastic victory in Malaysia last month.

"He is pure racer, with an undeniable talent at the wheel and a rare instinct for what it takes to compete consistently at this level. Coupled with a committed work ethic and a mature approach to learning his craft that belies his years, Max is right to be hungry for success and we are looking forward to extending that journey with him in our hunt for Formula One World Championships. As we now look to the long term with Max he is in the best place in the sport to build a team around him to deliver our shared ambition."

Verstappen's teammate Daniel Ricciardo is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2018, meaning he could be back on the driver market when the contracts of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas expire at Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen's one year deal at Ferrari comes to an end.