Dutch driver was being lined up by current champions to partner Lewis Hamilton when contract expired at end of 2018
RED BULL have fended off interest from Mercedes to sign up Max Verstappen to a new contract.
The highly-rated Dutchman was being lined up by Merc bosses to partner Lewis Hamilton when the 20-year-old’s contract expired at the end of 2018.
However, the Milton Keynes-based team have snapped up Verstappen to a new deal that will run until the end of 2020.
The contract is expected to boost Verstappen’s pay to up to £20million a year.
He said: “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.
“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 per cent.
“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.”
Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, added: “We are delighted that Max has agreed to extend his contract with Red Bull Racing.