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Verstappen reveals ambitions with new Red Bull contract

Max Verstappen has explained the mindset he's taking into 2022 and beyond with Red Bull, after signing a lengthy new contract with the team.

Max Verstappen has outlined how his mindset will remain the same going into 2022, as the Dutch driver embarks on his first title-defending season at Red Bull with a lengthy new contract in his pocket. Earlier this week, Verstappen and Red Bull confirmed that they will work together until at least 2028, after the '21 World Champion put pen to paper on a new contract. But, despite his future secured for the long-term with the lucrative new deal, Verstappen says his mindset and approach won't change in the slightest. "Even after winning the championship, my ambition is still to win races and try to fight for the championship again, and also, now, we don't need to think about it anymore," Verstappen explained, referring to the fact that contract negotiations between him and Red Bull won't be an issue for some years to come. "We know how long the contract is and we can just work together. Besides only trying to fight for wins and championships, I think what is important as well is to have a good time and have fun and actually enjoy your time in Formula 1 as well."

Why Verstappen chose Red Bull as his home

Despite 2022 marking the start of a new regulation cycle, as well as an engine freeze meaning a huge amount of uncertainty of any team's competitiveness over the coming seasons, Verstappen explained that he had no reason to doubt Red Bull. With Mercedes promoting George Russell for 2022 with an eye to a Lewis Hamilton-less future, as well as Ferrari and McLaren signing long-term deals with Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris respectively, Verstappen didn't think about going elsewhere as he pondered his new contract. "It's difficult to comment on the other teams; I have never been in [them]," he said, when asked why he chose Red Bull. "I just feel really good at this team. I really enjoy working with the people in every department. Of course, after winning the championship last year, for me, it's the best team out there – so yeah, I want to stay." As for whether there was any heel-dragging in the lead-up to putting pen to paper, Verstappen said it ended up being a smooth process of negotiation. "The decision was quite straightforward," he commented. "On both sides, we wanted to continue. From the start, I've felt really good in the team and, especially after last year, I only saw one way forward, and that was with this team."

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