Helmut Marko: 'Engine plans key to Max Verstappen deal'

Marko: 'Engine plans key to Verstappen deal'
© SilverHub
Max Verstappen has not denied that his new Red Bull contract includes higher pay.

Max Verstappen has not denied that his new Red Bull contract includes higher pay.

Amid obvious interest from Mercedes and Ferrari, the energy drink company announced in Austin that the 20-year-old is staying put until 2020.

Asked how many cans Red Bull will need to sell to pay him, team boss Christian Horner admitted: "Millions."

However, Dutchman Verstappen told Ziggo Sport Totaal: "I did not do it for the money.

"I would rather win 100 grands prix and earn nothing than not win anything and have 100 million in the bank."

However, it is speculated that Verstappen's new deal increases his retainer over threefold, while another major part of securing his services will have been convincing him that Red Bull will have a good engine beyond 2018.

Next year's car will have a Renault power unit, and beyond that a switch to Honda power is possible.

When asked about the 2019 engine and whether it came up in the Verstappen talks, Dr Helmut Marko admitted: "Of course.

"He knows what our plans are and what the alternatives are and this convinced him to extend the contract. But I cannot tell you the details.

"We're concentrating on 2018. With Toro Rosso we made the decision to switch to Honda, and when we look at McLaren's progress, we are satisfied."

Verstappen is sixth in the drivers' championship ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

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Max Verstappen poses for a photo on January 2, 2017
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