Max Verstappen has ended speculation of a move to Mercedes by signing a Red Bull contract extension until 2023.
Verstappen's decision to stay is a ringing endorsement of Red Bull and its Honda partnership, which started last year and yielded victories in Austria, Germany and Brazil. Late last year Honda confirmed it will continue to supply Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso until 2021.
The Dutchman said he wants to win a championship with the team.
Very proud and happy that @redbullracing will stay my home until 2023. We started this journey together and they have supported me from day 1. I want to win with @redbull and @HondaRacingF1, our goal is to fight for a World Championship together. The best is yet to come! #YesBoys pic.twitter.com/gal9QVTEFO— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) January 7, 2020
The news takes Verstappen, whose previous deal ran until the end of 2020, off the market. The Dutchman had previously been linked with a switch to Mercedes.
Verstappen has become a superstar since his debut in 2015. His victory at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on his Red Bull debut made him F1's youngest-ever race winner. He has claimed seven victories since then and many have tipped him to win multiple championships in the 2020s.
Red Bull finished 2019 quietly confident it can win more than three races in 2020. The former world champions are also eyeing F1's sweeping regulation change in 2021 as a perfect opportunity to reestablish itself as the dominant force on the grid.
With that change on the horizon, team boss Christian Horner says securing Verstappen's services beyond 2020 was essential.
"With the challenge of the 2021 regulation changes on the horizon continuity in as many areas as possible is key," Horner said.
"Max has proven what an asset he is to the team, he truly believes in the partnership we have forged with our engine supplier Honda, and we are delighted to have extended our relationship with him."