Max Verstappen celebrated his new contract extension with Red Bull Racing by posting the second fastest time of the day at the Circuit of the Americas as the United States Grand Prix weekend got underway on Friday.
The Dutchman will continue with the Milton Keynes-based squad until the end of 2020, and despite a difficult season that has seen him retire from seven of the opening sixteen races, Verstappen feels happy with Red Bull, and the working relationship between driver and team remains strong.
“After a challenging year it’s a good feeling to sign a new contract and continue this strong relationship,” said Verstappen. “I really believe in the team and they believe in me, we have a great working relationship and they gave me the chance to start a career in Formula 1.
“We have had our ups and downs this year but I still feel really good in the team, you can see they have been working really hard to improve and today shows that we are again competitive.
“I enjoy being in this team, which is very important for me so that’s why I decided to extend my contract. If we can learn from what happened this year I have no doubt that this team can build the best car on the grid and start 2018 competing at the front.
“I have learnt a lot this year after what has happened, which is definitely positive.”
Verstappen finished fourth fastest in the wet-dry morning session on Friday but was second best to Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon, and he believes Red Bull could be in the hunt for a good result this weekend.
“Today we showed good pace both in long run simulation and short stints so I think we have the ability to achieve a good result here,” said Verstappen.