Engine plans key to Verstappen deal says Marko

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 smiled: "Millions."

But 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," he said.

However, it is speculated that Verstappen's new deal increases his retainer from about $3 million per year to at least $10 million.

Another major part of securing Verstappen's 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," said the team official.

"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," Marko added.

(GMM)

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