. The F1 World champion looks to continue winning partnership after breaking Lewis Hamilton’s hold on title
. World champ Max Verstappen is about to extend his contract with Red Bull
. The Dutchman is set to agree a £4m pay-hike according to a report in Holland
. Verstappen broke Lewis Hamilton’s four-year hold on the world title last year
. He and Red Bull are desperate to continue their winning partnership in 2022
Max Verstappen is set to extend his contract with Red Bull with a £22million-per-year deal, with confirmation of the agreement expected in the next few weeks.
The Dutchman broke Lewis Hamilton’s four-year stranglehold on the world championship last season and despite the controversial nature of the victory he is keen to embark on his own dynasty.
The championship was Red Bull’s reward for taking a chance on Verstappen as a youngster and they are desperate to tie down his future.
Verstappen, 24, is also keen to stay with Red Bull, as he made clear in the aftermath of clinching the world title in Abu Dhabi in December.
And according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, both parties are set to announce a new contract, keeping Verstappen with Red Bull for a significant period and raising his salary from £18m to £22m plus bonus payments.
The report said Verstappen’s manager Raymond Vermeulen went to visit Red Bull boss Helmut Marko in his home in Graz, Austria to discuss the new deal, which is expected to be made official in the next few weeks.
Verstappen’s contract with Red Bull runs to 2023 and the report said the deal would be ‘significantly’ extended.
Verstappen has been readying his title defence this week at F1’s pre-season testing in Barcelona.
He was given a day off on Thursday but was back to work bright and early on Friday morning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday morning, topping the time sheets before his time was bettered by Fernando Alonso.
The Dutchman has also spoken out against the sacking of Michael Masi as race director following the controversial end to last season at the Abu Dhabi.
Masi enraged Mercedes for making a U-turn on the decision that lapped cars would not be able to unlap themselves following Nicholas Latifi’s crash.
The decision gave Verstappen a free run at Hamilton on the final lap on fresh tyres and he successfully passed the Briton to win the race and the championship.
Verstappen, however, defended Masi.
‘For me, it’s very unfair what happened to Michael – he was really being thrown under the bus,’ he told Autosport.
‘Now, [that they] did sack him like that in the first place for me is unacceptable. And now basically [that they] sacked him is really incredible. I feel really sorry for Michael.’