F1: Verstappen mega-contract ‘not rocket science’

(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko is not commenting on speculation about Max Verstappen’s new annual retainer other than to admit the Dutchman is “satisfied”.

Reports suggest the 24-year-old Dutchman and reigning world champion has been retained on a five year, $50-plus million per season retainer to remain at Red Bull at least until the end of 2028 – when he will be 31.

By then, he will have put another $350 million or so in the bank, bringing him in line with what seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton earns at Mercedes.

“I will not speculate about the numbers,” Marko, who negotiated the deal with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz and Verstappen’s managers, told Sport1.

“All I can say is that both sides are and will be satisfied. The term of the contract shows how much we value Max.

“Normally, Red Bull doesn’t make deals that long,” Marko, 78, insisted.

Germany’s Auto Bild believes the deal is so long and lucrative because Red Bull needed Verstappen to be the centerpiece of a likely collaboration with Porsche from 2026.

Sport1, meanwhile, thinks there are already plans for a Verstappen-themed Porsche sports car project for the road, codenamed ‘VMax’ and to be colored orange.

Verstappen’s manager Raymond Vermeulen says no one should be surprised about the new Red Bull contract.

“It’s not rocket science,” he told De Telegraaf.

“After the world championship, we had very natural conversations with Marko and Jos, and Max and I also had good discussions internally.

“When I look at the fighting mentality of the team, it suits us perfectly.”

Vermeulen, who manages Max alongside father Jos Verstappen, insists it is “not at all crazy” to do “long-term planning” when F1 is entering its “new era”.

“We know exactly what’s coming and who will occupy the top positions in the team. The current situation feels extremely pleasant,” he said.


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