RaceFans' exclusive interview with Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen

Verstappen exclusive: I’m not here to win seven titles or race until I’m 40


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The 2023 Formula 1 season has been a story of the crushing dominance of Max Verstappen and Red Bull so far. But as the Italian Grand Prix weekend begins the paddock chatter is centred on his former – and potentially future – championship rival, Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton, 13 years older than Verstappen, long denied he would race on in Formula 1 for season after season, and doubted he would still be racing in his forties. Yet ahead of this weekend’s race he signed a new Mercedes contract which will keep him racing past his 40th birthday.

Now Verstappen insists he doesn’t plan on remaining in F1 anything like as long as Hamilton or their fellow multiple champion Fernando Alonso, who is still racing at 42. “No, absolutely no,” grins the Red Bull star. “No desire.”

Verstappen, speaking exclusively to RaceFans in the Red Bull Energy Station at Monza ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, cannot envisage himself spending two consecutive decades in F1.

Verstappen celebrated his ninth win in a row with his grandma
“No, I have my mind already set on what I want to do also outside of Formula 1,” he says. “It’s a big passion of mine and I want to make that happen as well.”

Some will be sceptical of that claim. Verstappen already has the longest contract of any driver on the grid. Following his breakthrough championship win two years ago he inked a long-term deal keeping him at Red Bull until 2028.

But since then he has let it be known on more than one occasion that he is dissatisfied with various aspects of modern F1 – particularly the growing travel burden, the shift from permanent to street tracks and the introduction of the sprint race format. But Verstappen says these comments reflect less on F1 than his own priorities.

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“Honestly, it’s not really a threat [to leave F1], it’s just how I see my life,” he explains.

“I’ve been racing since I was four years old and at one point, enough is enough. For me, it’s not about winning seven, eight titles, nine titles. Once you’ve won it, it’s always the same thing at the end of the day.

“I have a lot of plans outside of Formula 1 already. It’s not like F1 is my life, this is the only thing that I do. And that’s why I think I can easily do other stuff as well while not travelling that much at one point. Because at one point it’s enough.”

The world champion has been undefeated since the Miami GP
The 2024 F1 calendar is due to feature a recording-breaking 24 races. While the series’ CEO Stefano Domenicali has said it won’t go any higher than that, the limit could be increased in the next Concorde Agreement, which will come into effect from 2026. Verstappen thinks there are already too many races on the schedule. “I already don’t enjoy travelling like, how we are doing it,” he says.

“So of course it [would be] very hard to walk away from a winning team. I know I have a contract anyway ’til ’28. But after that, I’m 31, I maybe want to do other things. I know that at 31 I can still be very competitive, but it’s not about that because at one point it’s enough and you just want to do other stuff.”

Despite going into every race this year knowing he is the favourite to win, Verstappen says he doesn’t approach each weekend buzzing with anticipation at the thought of racing. “Not at all, actually,” he says. “I also really enjoy being at home. But then also I know when to switch back on and be here and be ready to perform.”

“I have my mind already set on what I want to do also outside of Formula 1”

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“I’ve always been like that,” he continues. “When I would get back home I would do my stuff and I know, of course, what I have to do for F1-related stuff. But I also find it really important to have my private life and really not think about Formula 1 too much.”

Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen, Monaco, 2023
Alonso believes Verstappen deserves more credit for his efforts
Back into F1 mode for the 14th time this year, Verstappen goes into this weekend’s race knowing he could make history. Only two drivers before him have won nine races in a row, and no one has ever made it into double digits. But Verstappen has long been versed in the mantra of taking every race as it comes, and he’s not about to treat this potentially landmark event any differently.

“We’ve been winning every single race this year as a team so we definitely want to do the same. But it’s never straightforward, a lot of things can go wrong and this always is in the back of your mind.”

Any Formula 1 driver who attains the level of dominance Verstappen has enjoyed this year inevitably faces questions over how much of the performance comes from him and how much comes from the car. Following Verstappen’s latest win on home ground less than a week ago, Alonso said he feels his rival consistently gets the best out of his car more frequently than his rivals and doesn’t get the praise he deserves for his performances.

But that doesn’t trouble Verstappen in the slightest. “I don’t really care about what other people credit us for,” he says. “I know how hard it is within the team already to do these kind of things.

“For me, it’s very important that we just focus on what’s happening in the team, what we can control and whatever. People from the outside, they will never know or understand how difficult it is to do these kind of things.”

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The sporting aphorism ‘making it look easy’ is inevitably applied to an F1 driver at the top of their game with a dominant car at their fingertips. But those crushing, half-minute victories over Red Bull’s competition don’t happen by chance. For those who think otherwise, Verstappen laughs he “would happily let other people try as well and see how good they can do.”

“I’ve been racing since I was four years old and at one point, enough is enough”
“I know that it’s not easy,” he says. “Every single weekend we have challenges.

“Of course we have a quick car, but I always compare like this: In F2 or F3 everyone has the same car but there are very big differences between cars. Why is that?

“At the end of the day, it also means that if you don’t have the set-up on the car to show it, or you don’t nail the set-up of the car, there are very big differences. It’s the same in F1.

“Of course every car looks very different, but even when you have a dominant car, you don’t nail the set-up, it’s not going to look good. So we spend a lot of time on trying to optimise things.”

He may be out of reach of the competition at the moment, but Verstappen is clearly not about to let complacency set in. “Of course, we are having an incredible season. But it’s not like we just rock up and go, ‘ah, let’s just do this, this weekend’. It’s a lot of effort from everyone to try and do the best they can.

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“I think we’ve had a lot of weekends as well where it was not that easy or there were weather conditions coming up as well to make the right calls all the time and basically don’t trip up. I think we can be very proud of that.

“And of course it’s never good, it’s never perfect. But what we’re doing in the moment, I think we can be very proud.”

Don’t miss the second part of RaceFans’ exclusive interview with Max Verstappen coming soon.

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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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72 comments on “Verstappen exclusive: I’m not here to win seven titles or race until I’m 40”

  1. Ah if only Lewis had that fierce independence of spirit. No, he craves and demands respect and adoration, the very same things that Max gives the two fingers.

    1. What is this really about? Why does Lewis live in your mind rent free?

      Can we just be happy for Max? He’s on a streak which we’ve never seen in the sport. He talks about his plans and ambitions outside of F1, I know he’s very much into eSports but I want to know what else interests him — does he plan on following Jody Scheckter and going into farming?

      1. I don’t remember posting anything about Lewis before.
        And why should it be “really about something” if anyone happens to mention Lewis?

        1. I think the point is ‘Max’ in your mind triggers ‘Lewis’ and ‘negative comparison.’
          You don’t think Max or anyone else want respect? Don’t you? Not necessarily from anyone here anonymously on the internet, but in your actual life? Not the same as ‘adoration’. I suspect ‘adoration’ is given to Formula 1 drivers whether they want it or not (Max and the Orange Army?) and they simply have to find ways to deal with it.

        2. When did you see Lewis demanding “respect and adoration”?

          The guy has been a class act pretty much all these years, even kept his composure after the controversial AD 21 GP, why try so hard to paint him something he’s not?

          1. if we’re considering the end of 2021, then yes, skipping the awards ceremony is part of the definition of a class act.

          2. Yes, lying to the stewards in Melbourne was really classy

          3. @sam no, not contesting the race direction by Masi in the courts was the classy bit. Given he was found to have been at fault over his rule invention and sacked, clearly there were grounds for questioning the result and final standings. Mercedes were ready to proceed. But it would have severely damaged Formula 1 in general.

          4. I just don’t get it either. I get that Lewis can be annoying with his social media presence and appearing a little woke from time to time, his complaining on the radio is a little bit dramatic at times as well. But as an F1 driver, a sportsman and an ambassador of the sport, he’s as good as F1 could have asked for.

            As you mentioned, the fact that he was robbed of a title in Abu Dhabi 21, he handled it with much more maturity than any other driver on the grid would have. The fact that Massa is fighting for his 2008 title, which he has little claim on, is a good example.

    2. you are a sad person and I feel bad for you

    3. Good Grief – move on for heavens sake

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      1st September 2023, 15:30

      Shouldn’t this OP’s comment be deleted to be fair to other posters and retain some form of democracy?

      1. Hope you’re being ironic there..

        1. unlikely

      2. Just so you know, some comments were deleted in the other thread due to a, let’s just say, not nice comment about verstappen you made that has been linked.

    5. Thank you Frasier and David BR for your comments.
      The rest need to grow up and not lose it over Lewis LOL. Learn to listen to other points of view with adult calmness.

  2. Thank you Claire. Very interesting although nothing Max says is that surprising. Max might actually prefer to have a bit closer competition.

    Look forward to the second part.

    1. Coventry Climax
      1st September 2023, 15:05

      Fully agree with this.

  3. Following Verstappen’s latest win on home ground less than a week ago, along so said he feels his rival consistently gets the best out of his car more frequently

    The perils of dictating your story to a machine?

    1. Coventry Climax
      1st September 2023, 15:04

      Or relying on software to ‘correct’ what you’re saying/typing.

      1. Or relying on software to ‘correct’

        “Auto-correct” – a feature in phones I particularly dislike and generally refer to as autobol****s
        Amusingly, entering that often enough causes the system to offer my version as soon as I type “auto” :)

  4. Coventry Climax
    1st September 2023, 14:53

    “In F2 or F3 everyone has the same car but there are very big differences between cars. Why is that?
    Of course every car looks very different, but even when you have a dominant car, you don’t nail the set-up, it’s not going to look good. So we spend a lot of time on trying to optimise things.”

    And it’s this aspect that the FiA wants to take away – for everone: all drivers, all teams, the audience- with having less and/or shorter practice sessions.
    I’m actually at a loss for words to describe how I feel about that.

  5. Regarding the article as a whole, I wholly see his points about racing career & life generally + other aspects.
    However, one thing I don’t get is why people seem to question Domenicali’s credibility by claiming contradictively to what he’s said on quite a few different occasions about his long-term GP amount intention, seemingly without realizing F1 isn’r like Nascar, for example, travel logistics-wise.

    1. Coventry Climax
      1st September 2023, 14:59

      You can’t question someones credibility when there is none to start with..
      And there’s only one person responsable for building up or losing one’s credibility, which is he/her him/herself.

  6. Smart move from Max. Dominate in the best car F1 has ever seen and then do a Rosberg and dip out at the top before you get found out.

    I admire people like Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel etc who aren’t afraid to jump teams at questionable times and make a success of it or go toe to toe with world Championship team mates.

    For me that’s the only question mark against Max. Hamilton proved himself against Alonso in his prime on back to back championships. There’s no doubt in my mind that Alonso beats Max if you drop him in that RedBull this year. For me that’s the only question mark surrounding Verstappen. Until he beats someone great in equal machinery I’ll always have my doubts on him.

    1. the best car F1 has ever seen

      You are probably right but this is quite misleading. Obviously cars keep improving as time goes by and the RB19 is better than the Tipo 500, the Sharknose, the MP4/4 or the W05. But all these cars were way, way more dominant over the competition than the RB19 is now, and this is what matters. The RB19 is only slightly ahead of the competition, and, as dominant cars go, will be far from the top, even if Red Bull make a full strike and win all 23 GPs this season.

      1. The RB19 is only slightly ahead of the competition

        What are you smoking?

        1. Compared to the Mclaren MP4/4 it certainly is. If you took this field’s gap from 2nd to last and basically triple it. That’s how far ahead of everyone the MP4/4 was in terms of lap time. It’s just that this year everyone is very closely packed compared to decades past.

          1. Of course, and moreover the MP4/4 was emphatically not the most dominant car in F1’s history as it is often touted. The 1988 McL team with Prost, Senna, and the MP4/4 was (or arguably the 1952 Fezza team with Alberto Ascari and the Tipo 500) but it was not purely a matter of the car. Talking purely of the car, nothing ever came close to the W05 and the Sharknose.

        2. When you take the trouble to learn a bit about F1’s history you’ll be worth a reply

          1. I am aware there’s been very dominant cars in f1 history, including the 1961 ferrari, which was probably top until recently, and maybe still is, but it’s still minimizing it to say this red bull is only slightly ahead: it has a better scoring rate than the mclaren 1988 and the mercedes 2016 so far, that is really dominant.

          2. And I’m absolutely sure if f1 metrics ever makes an update to his dominant cars articles it will be CLOSE to the top, not far.

          3. Well, I wish the f1metrics would be updated but this is highly unlikely We would see. But I disagree with you. It is not just a matter of scoring rates. It is a matter of making winners out of mediocre drivers. A really dominant car like the Sharknose made a journeyman like Giancarlo Baghetti win his very first F1 race, something that never happened in F1 history except obviously at Silverstone 1950. On the other hand, Checo is not obviously GOAT material but is and always has been a pretty decent driver. With the RB19 he is now second but only just, and Fred might eventually beat him. With a really dominant car he would be way ahead of everyone else except Max.

            Btw, f1metrics ranks the McL-Honda MP4/4 only 11th in the list of dominant cars, and I agree with Alesici that the RB19 would clearly rank lower. But why only 11th? I am pretty sure that if all the drivers in 1988 had driven MP4/4s, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna would still have snatched the large majority of the wins, though maybe a little fewer than 15 out of 16. Therefore the MP4/4 maybe did not add too much. On the other hand, if, say, Julian Bailey and Jonathan Palmer (the Tyrrel-Ford drivers in real life) had been the McL drivers and scored 15/16 wins with the MP4/4, then the MP4/4 would undoubtedly have been the most dominant car ever (in real life, Bailey did not score and Palmer was 14th in the championship with 5 points for two 5P and a 6P).

          4. I think that is why F1 metrics isn’t entirely reliable for this particular statistic. I believe that it looks at the qualifying and race results of the two drivers and gives them an overall score for the season, and then by comparing it to their expected score (which is done via the extremely complicated teammate connections), they get an estimate of how good the car is. So for the MP4/4, they would see that Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost finished first and second almost every time, but as they were both all-time greats that actually wouldn’t be that different to what is expected and hence the car ranks only 11th. It doesn’t know that they were sometimes three seconds a lap faster than anyone else. By contrast, F1 metrics expects Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips to finish around seventh and eighth in 1961, so the fact that they were the title contenders shows them finishing six places higher than expected consistently, so fully realises the dominance of the Ferrari shark-nose and puts it much higher than the McLaren MP4/4. In reality they were probably at a similar level of dominance over the rest of the field. As you said, if the Tyrrell drivers had driven the McLaren it would have got a higher score, even if they hadn’t won so many races, because the difference between their actual results and expected results if all the cars were equal would be greater. Of course, F1 metrics is actually a fantastic model and accounts for this to an extent but not fully.

            The most dominant cars in history were undoubtable the 1950 and 1952 Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, but that is because of a lack of opposition and when faced against a more competitive Ferrari in 1951 and Maserati in 1953 it was much closer. They used pretty much the same car for both seasons.

            I think the big strength of the current Red Bull is its reliability. If you compare it to the Mercedes W05, it has nowhere near the performance advantage over the rest of the field. But that car lost three races due to reliability problems in Canada retiring Hamilton and hobbling Rosberg (that was one of the most exciting races of all time in my opinion), and in Hungary due to Hamilton’s fire in qualifying as well as Rosberg’s bad luck with the first safety car. In Belgium they hit each other, perhaps a weakness of going for two top drivers rather than a clear number one and number two. Red Bull have had just one reliability problem all season (Jeddah qualifying), so have a better chance of winning every race because of that. It is hard to say if that makes it more dominant. It is also much easier to overtake in 2023 than 2014, as cars can follow more closely and yet DRS is more powerful, so Verstappen fought back to 2nd with ease in Jeddah which Hamilton couldn’t quite do in Germany 2014 from the back. So that also makes it more likely that Verstappen will be able to overcome a setback and keep up the winning streak.

            I think a more obvious example of the weakness of the mathematical model is the suggestion that Jochen Rindt’s season in 1970 was the greatest in history, something that the author recognises. He had only five ‘counting races’ meaning races without a mechanical failure and won them all, in a car less dominant than others that did it. It is difficult to know if his Lotus was actually the best car, with the Ferrari perhaps better but unreliable while Rindt was still alive, and the Brabham also very good but Jack Brabham not really one of the best drivers at this point. But of Rindt’s five wins, Monaco was particularly special because of that great final lap and with an older car, but it still required Brabham to go off at the final corner. In Clermont-Ferrand, Ickx and Beltoise both pulled away but retired with car problems. In Brands Hatch, Brabham ran out of fuel on the last lap. So arguably only Zandvoort and Hockenheim were really on merit. And he wasn’t leading the races that he retired with mechanical failures. Kyalami was already lost before the engine failure after he hit Brabham on lap one. In Jarama he retired almost immediately having started eighth. He was fourth in Spa when the engine failed, and behind the Ferraris when it failed in Austria. There is no doubt that it was a fantastic season but there is no way it was the greatest in history (Jim Clark in 1965 would be my vote, with Jim Clark in 1963 taking second place).

            F1 metrics is definitely the best mathematical model out there, and I am a big fan. My comment is about why mathematical models in general are misleading and even a practically perfect one like F1 metrics is still never going to give totally accurate results. Ones that just compare qualifying times also don’t work because they don’t take into account race performances (some drivers, like Alain Prost were much better in races than qualifying). And they are always heavily skewed towards recent history. The one made recently by AWS had all very recent drivers in the top 20 bar Prost and Senna. And my own very simple one to compare 1950s drivers got this result:

            1. Juan Manuel Fangio (100.000)
            2. Alberto Ascari (+0.027)
            3. Stirling Moss (+0.079)
            4. Tony Brooks (+0.413)
            5. Jose Froilan Gonzalez (+0.795)
            6. Jean Behra (+0.913)
            7. Giuseppe Farina (+1.061)
            8. Karl Kling (+1.178)
            9. Stuart Lewis-Evans (+1.256)
            10. Luigi Villoresi (+1.325)
            11. Eugenio Castellotti (+1.526)
            12. Mike Hawthorn (+2.059)
            13. Peter Collins (+2.159)
            14. Luigi Fagioli (+2.414)
            15. Luigi Musso (+2.509)
            16. Piero Taruffi (+2.622)
            17. Maurice Trintignant (+2.866)

            Two seconds between the best drivers and Mike Hawthorn is an extraordinary amount (consistent with his gap to Ascari in 1953, to Gonzalez in 1954 and to Collins and his gap to Fangio in 1956) and he wouldn’t get anywhere near the Formula 1 grid with that these days, yet he was one of the top drivers of the 1950s and even won a championship (even if others would have been more deserving). This isn’t because drivers now are better than then, but they have all sorts of training, simulators and telemetry which allows average drivers to get very close to the greats, which wasn’t available in the 1950s. And they can push the limits more now without risking being killed if it goes wrong as was the case back then.

            So I don’t really trust mathematical models even though I like them a lot. I think the only way to really decide on the most dominant car or best driver is subjectively. And I think there are plenty of reasons why Red Bull have a greater chance than most of winning every race this season, not least because Max Verstappen is the most consistent driver in Formula 1 history.

  7. He’s been in F1 for almost 10 years and is 25.
    I don’t imagine him being there at 40 either. There’s more to life than that.

    1. Yep, and good for him to recognize that early on. It’s somewhat counter intuitive, but not being 100% focused on one thing can be a competitive benefit; ‘trying to hard’ is a real thing in sports.

      It’s also inevitable that as he grew up he discovered there’s more to the world than retrying his father’s career.

  8. What does he want to do after F1?

    1. It’s disappointing that Claire didn’t ask that question. Max opened that door a few times.

      “No, I have my mind already set on what I want to do also outside of Formula 1,” he says. “It’s a big passion of mine and I want to make that happen as well.”

      “I have a lot of plans outside of Formula 1 already.

      But after that, I’m 31, I maybe want to do other things. I know that at 31 I can still be very competitive, but it’s not about that because at one point it’s enough and you just want to do other stuff.”

      But maybe that will be covered in the second part of this interview.

    2. Well, in terms of racing he’s always had a passion for endurance racing. I would not be surprised to see him start an adventure in the WEC (or just Le Mans), perhaps with his father.

  9. Well, at the current rate he’ll have 7 titles in another 4 years, blowing away all records (poles, wins) in the process. He can retire at 30. Or 31 if he prefers 8 titles.
    Not that he wants them.

    1. @david-br
      The new regs could be a stinker for RBR. The car itself will probably fine, but the engine adventure might throw them back

      1. That’s unlikely, with the rules being extremely prescriptive to the point engines will likely be very similar in performance from day 1, and F1 now having an admitted BoP-regime for their PUs.

        1. @MichaelN
          We will see. But even if the spread of power throughout the field is close, there is still reliability.. It is not unthinkable that new engine will have an issue here and there. A few DNF’s in a tight season could spoil it for them. Plausible engine component penalties here and there…

      2. @baasbas 6-7 more years of dominance by Verstappen/Red Bull is unlikely, I agree, but mostly because it would cause F1 to implode due to fan interest plummeting, not because they’re likely to be caught. I mean it’s possible, but I just don’t see it at the moment.

        1. Sorry, didn’t finish that thought: what I mean is that Red Bull would or will be pulled back by ‘other means’ at some point if the viewing figures become worrying for Liberty/FIA.

        2. Previous iteration was 8 years of Mercedes dominance, so not sure it will make F1 impede. It didn’t back then

          1. Not quite the same: in Mercedes-dominant seasons we had Hamilton versus Rosberg at least. After Rosberg left in shock fashion (for Mercedes anyhow) Mercedes always had some threat from Ferrari and later Red Bull.
            Max basically faces zero threat from his team mate or indeed from his car (reliability is astounding) or from his team (he isn’t driving for Ferrari). There is zero jeopardy.

          2. Yes, I see that difference but would argue that the Mercedes dominance was worse. It was either Lewis or Nico winning, putting much emphasis on the team being the winner and there being no chance to challenge the team. Plus they were downplaying it all the time, which made the audience feel like not being taken seriously and just be treated as fools. Nowadays the others can at least challenge Checo. And there is an element of respect and admiration in Max’ sports performance as well amongst the audience (we are witnessing an F1 great), which was less so towards Mercedes, as Roberg and Hamilton were basically on par in their performance. Even Bottas was quite capable of winning in the car. On top of that the previous run lasted 8 years and now we’re just 2 years in with a maximum of another 2 years before everything is changing again. So, overall I think F1 will be fine and it is mostly politically driven comments made at the moment.

  10. F1 is a barren wasteland in terms of competetive spirit. There’s one car and one driver winning and being bored of it whilst the other driver just hopes to not mess up, then there’s ~6 drivers hoping to get to a podium, and all the others just drive around hoping for anything positive coming their way.

    As a fan of other motorsports, cycling, athletics, football, basketball, tennis, MMA etc. this is a very depressing state of affairs.

    1. Real Madrid has twice as many European Trophies as the next most successful club.
      Man City are on course for 4 titles in a row in the Premier League. Tennis has been dominated by 3-4 players until very recently for a very extended period. Nadal has won the French Open 14 times out of the last 18 or so. Athletics golden period was dominated by Usain Bolt who pretty much won every race he entered. Barring a false start he was as dominant as anyone in F1. Absolute dominance is not rare, and in many respects draws in many fans because humans don’t tend to like random sport. There has to be some semblance of narrative.

      F1 is the most competitive form of motorsport in the world. Almost every component is manufactured by the team. That means every element is part of the competitive process. The are vastly more competitive variables than almost any other sport on the planet. it’s the opposite of a competitive wasteland. It’s the ultimate expression.

      What we’re witnessing now is supreme levels of performance that in 10 or so years will be lauded as an exceptional achievement.

      1. Madrid does have a lot of European titles, but that’s still only 14 since the early 1950s, and almost half of them are from the first years of said competition. Similarly, the USA will likely be statistically ahead of most other countries in Women’s Football for many years to come even if they can no longer challenge for the big titles, that’s the benefit of being there and doing well at the start.

        That much of an F1 car is made by or specifically for individual teams is not that important when the regulations make such components all but identical to those of other teams, and when various crucial parts of the car are either not allowed to be developed at all (like much of the PU) or supplied by a series-wide partner (like the ECU and tyres).

        That Red Bull with all its budget, huge staff and modern facilities is “only” a couple of tenths faster than an outdated and underfunded outfit like Williams around Zandvoort or Silverstone shows how little room for development there is in F1. In the post-2009 sets of regulations there is usually one trick that a team needs to nail in order to dominate; there is very little room for creative competition.

      2. Alan Dove, you’ve made this absolutely nonsensical assumption that all La Liga matches are Real Madrid matches and all tennis matches are Nadal matches etc. Your entire statement doesn’t address anything I said, nor does it say anything on its own.
        You can choose out of 50 great football matches every weekend and you can watch tennis without seeing a single Nadal match. Also, you can bet whoever wins the Champions’ League next year, the winning players are gonna go crazy about it.

        “F1 is the most competitive form of motorsport in the world.”
        LOL, yeah, Verstappen has no chance against those highly competetive Alfa Romeos.

  11. Now Max says this and I do not doubt about his sincerity. But we will see, when you keep winning it is very hard to retire. Even El Chueco overstayed for a year. Very few except those who bought the six-foot farm have been able to retire in their prime. But hey, Sir Jackie did. I can hardly remember anybody else except for Nico Rosberg who retired after showing his teammate who’s boss.

    1. I don’t call rosberg’s 2016 that, I’d call that running away after lucking out on reliability.

      1. Of after his teammate wasted droves of points earlier in the season, mostly by bad starts.

        1. They had exactly the same number of bad starts – possibly Hamilton had one more.

          The blunt fact is reliability throughout qualifying with Hamilton’s ERS in the first four races gave Rosberg the head start. Good for him. The Singapore issue was more than anyone can come back from yet he took it down to five points… including a stunning drive in Brazil because Max drove well – despite a few bumps on the way. Good as he drove the fact Hamilton took 9 seconds out of him in two laps at a restart suggests someone should get more credit for that day.

          At least it was a clean championship without FIA interference…

          I mean – they could have at least come up with a safety car or two for the final?

      2. If Hamilton had won every race after Malaysia he would have won the 2016 title. That he couldn’t is no shame, but he did have the car and opportunity to do so.

  12. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    1st September 2023, 16:54

    I always take these with a pinch of salt. We’ve heard similar comments from Lewis and others in the past but no one truly knows where their head will be at in 5 years.

    While I think the intent is genuine, the reality I’m sure will be very different in a few years.

  13. A lot of kids in their early 20s say they don’t even want TO LIVE into their 40s and 50s. So, I don’t give me much weight to these types of comments. However, F1 isn’t as fun to drive in and there’s a lot more secondary work and media annoyance. So, I can see him retiring early, especially if there isn’t much good competition and/or the next generation of cars are as lame as they seem to be shaping up to be.

    There’s one thing I know for sure. If they brought back the lightweight, V10 powered cars of the 90s and early 2000s, Max would enjoy himself a mot more. He seems like a guy who would much prefer driving low tech, high powered cars.

    1. Nick, this is why I hope Max will drive in IndyCar one day ;)

  14. He’s 25, pretty likely he will change his mind.

  15. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    1st September 2023, 23:22

    The title of this article makes it seem like this is a jab at Lewis. I’m not sure how the question was posed to Max but he doesn’t mention anything about 7 titles?

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      1st September 2023, 23:25

      Did he say this? “I’m not here to win seven titles or race until I’m 40”

      If he didn’t use those words that’s very poor by this website.

      1. He’s quoted as saying: “For me, it’s not about winning seven, eight titles, nine titles.”
        And: “No, absolutely no” (grins the Red Bull star) “No desire” (to race in Formula 1 for two decades / into his 40s).

      2. @rdotquestionmark I didn’t read that as a dig at Lewis (or Alonso) either. Just saying what he wants for himself. Given both Hamilton and Alonso are still driving supremely well (in the top 4 for the first part of the season on this website and according to other commentators) I don’t really see how it could be a criticism. Actually the opposite. Both Schumacher and Raikkonen had faded by a similar point in their careers. Alonso also took time out of F1 but it seems to have had negligible effect. That’s impressive.

      3. It’s true that this website is a bit ‘creative’ when using quotes in headlines.
        I understand that headlines are chosen to spike interest, rather than merely reflecting the main theme of the article. But it’s flat out wrong to mangle (or even make up) quotes to try and achieve that.

  16. Good for Max. Why do fans tie themselves so closely to someone else’s success? Live your own life for god’s (or goddess’s) sake.

    1. Because there is a real, bodily reaction to vicariously being/feeling successful.

      One of the most interesting F1 surveys done by Motorsport semi-regularly is the one from 2015, so after Hamilton’s first Mercedes title and while he was well on his way to a second, because it shows just how strong that effect is. At that time, less than 20% named Hamilton as their favourite driver, and Mercedes only just cleared 10%. That obviously changed in the years after.

  17. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    2nd September 2023, 3:20

    What young Max doesn’t yet understand is and he probably will at some point as he gets older is aside from getting married and having kids someday, Formula 1 is probably going to be the greatest time in his life however long that may be. As he gets older he’ll likely have a different kind of respect for it and when he nears his later years he may want to hold onto an F1 seat much like Fernando, Lewis and Kimi.

    1. I understand what you’re saying; I raced FF1600 and FF 2000 in my younger days and ran a formula race shop until my wife got pregnant and I needed to get an actual job; my family was the most rewarding thing in my life. Yes, I look back on those days and they were the most fun I ever had, but in the end the greatest thing that ever happened to me was raising my daughter to be the wonderful person she is. I have great memories of those racing days but wouldn’t trade any of that for what I have now. We all grow up and our rewards change.

      1. Completely agree with your comment. Getting older, be fortunate to have children totally changes perspective.

        I saw a Dutch interview where Verstappen told his professional dream is to start a raceteam himself, combining sim racing and real life racing to get talent to the top.

        Time will tell, for now, let’s enjoy his is ability to drive cars in cirkels :).

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