Red Bull Racing extend Max Verstappen's contract

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

Red Bull have fended off interest from Ferrari to secure the future of Max Verstappen until the end of the 2020 season.

The 20-year-old Dutchman, who won the Malaysian Grand Prix earlier this month, sits fifth in the F1 championship standings.

Verstappen picked up his second win in Malaysia

Verstappen picked up his second win in Malaysia

But with his current deal set to expire at the end of 2018, Italian giants Ferrari were reported to be interested in bringing Verstappen to Maranello for 2019.

However, his two-year extention keeps him at Tilbrook until the end of 2020.

Verstappen won his first race for the team when he was promoted from Toro Rosso at the Spainish Grand Prix in 2016, and picked up five more podium finishes to finish fifth in the standings.

He has been on the podium just three times this year though, dogged by reliability issues and involved in crashes going on around him.

The Dutchman will continue with the Tilbrook team until the end of 2020

The Dutchman will continue with the Tilbrook team until the end of 2020

However, after winning in Malaysia, he finished second in Japan too.

“We are delighted that Max has agreed to extend his contract with Red Bull Racing," said Team Principal Christian Horner. "We had a phenomenal start together in Spain last year and Max has only pushed on from there.

"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.

"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 added: "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.

"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."