Max Verstappen has expanded on his recent comments regarding his dissatisfaction with changes to Formula 1’s race weekend format and how it might lead him to leave the sport.
The two-times world champion said during the Australian Grand Prix weekend he “won’t be around too long” if F1 continues to make changes to its race weekend format. Verstappen has been a consistent critic of F1’s sprint races which it introduced in 2021 and has expanded the use of this year.
Speaking to media in Azerbaijan yesterday Verstappen gave further insight into his motivation to keep racing in F1 beyond the end of his current contract, which is the longest of any driver on the grid, keeping him at Red Bull until the end of 2028. He said the growing burden of competing in F1, which is planning another increase in the length of its calendar next year, could hasten his exit from the series.
“I always said that even if there won’t be any more sprint races or whatever but we keep expanding the calendar and the whole weekend is that long, at one point you question yourself, is it worth it?” he said.
“I do like racing, I do like winning. I know that of course with the salary and everything you have a good life. But is it actually a good life? I think sometimes you get to a point in your career where maybe you want to do other stuff.
“I know that I have, of course, a contract until the end of ’28 and then we’ll review again. But I do feel that if it’s getting at one point too much then it’s time for a change. I think you always have to be talking to yourself and looking at yourself.
“Are you still very motivated, fully motivated? Do you love what you do? And at the moment that is definitely the case. But there will for sure be a point where you want to do maybe other stuff as well.”
Verstappen was F1’s youngest ever driver when he arrived in the sport seven years ago, and will only be 31 years old when his current contract expires. He admits some people regard it as strange that he could consider leaving the sport so soon.
“Sometimes this sounds very weird to people from the outside because you’re in Formula 1, you’re winning. And probably I would have said the same thing when I was in their position.
“But once you’re in, it’s not always how it looks like or how people think your life is. I mean, yes, it’s great, it’s amazing, you can do a lot of things. I’m very independent, but there is always a limit.”
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