People find it “very weird” I’m already considering life after F1 – Verstappen

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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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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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
    Claire Cottingham
    Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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    9 comments on “People find it “very weird” I’m already considering life after F1 – Verstappen”

    1. some racing fan
      28th April 2023, 8:29

      He can do what he wants. He doesn’t owe anyone anything. It would be a sad loss for F1, and hopefully Verstappen makes an attempt at Le Mans or maybe even the Indy 500.

    2. “There are a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction. And so, basically, we won’t be continuing any more.

      “It would be nice if I could say I would stay one more year, but then where does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now.”

      Similar words from Casey Stoner on retiring from MotoGP when he was just 26.

    3. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      28th April 2023, 9:32

      I hope F1 listens to his concerns and stops chasing every last dollar.

      1. +1 but having worked for US companies I doubt it. They will never embrace another objective.

    4. Why would sticking around be an objective in the first place? Because others did so? Max just wants to race and is using F1 at this particular moment in time. He cares zero about the circus and clearly has nothing to prove to anyone but himself. I personally love that attitude from an athlete but then again I am a hardliner when it comes to F1. Liberty’s circisification is definitely not for me. I have watched F1 from when I was 6 but chances are I will quit when Max does. I am just grateful to have witnessed such great attitude and approach to this sport in the end. It was a welcome change after the many glamour & show & scripted PR champions of the past.

    5. He is one of the last old school racer (mentally) we have and the youngest one at that. It says a lot about the state of F1 right now. Stefano saying 30 races by end of the decade is a huge red flag.

    6. Verstappen has already done about 170 Grand Prix. By the end of 2028 he’ll be quite close to something like double that with the current amount of races per season. In which case he’ll be right up there with all-time record holders like Räikkönen and Alonso. Totally normal to not want to look beyond that. If anything, that’s already a super long career.

      For comparison: other 21st century champions: Rosberg (206), Vettel (299), Button (306), Schumacher (307), Hamilton (313), Räikkönen (350), Alonso (359). With Hamilton and Alonso obviously still active.

    7. I don’t think it’s strange at all. He was forced into this at a very early age by a father who failed once he got to F1. He is now young and rich and can go off and do anything he wants. Tell his dad to stick it.

    8. Says a lot about the state of F1 that people like Rosberg and Verstappen will just walk away

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