November 30, 2022

Max Verstappen says he could retire from F1 after Red Bull contract, aged 31: ‘I want to do other stuff’

“F1 is amazing and I’ve achieved a lot… but it’s a lot of travelling and…

“F1 is amazing and I’ve achieved a lot… but it’s a lot of travelling and it’s a lot of races,” Max Verstappen tells Sky Sports F1; Double world champion Verstappen was speaking ahead of record-extending 15th win of the season at Abu Dhabi GP

Last Updated: 21/11/22 9:06am

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As Formula One prepared to return to Abu Dhabi, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen recalled perhaps the most dramatic finish to a season ever last year as he overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to win a maiden world title.

As Formula One prepared to return to Abu Dhabi, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen recalled perhaps the most dramatic finish to a season ever last year as he overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to win a maiden world title.

Double Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has reiterated that his current Red Bull contract could be his last, telling Sky Sports he may retire aged 31 due to the amount of races and his desire to “do other stuff”

Verstappen, 25, has just completed the most dominant season in F1 history – winning 15 out of 22 races and easily clinching his second straight straight title – and more records are in sight given his age and ability.

The Dutchman, though, refuses to commit to the sport past his current Red Bull deal, which lasts until the 2028 season.

“I don’t know after that,” he told Sky Sports F1’s David Croft ahead of another victory at the Abu Dhabi GP. “But it also probably depends how competitive we are in ’28.

“I’ve still got time. I don’t want to make drastic decisions now.”

Formula 1 World Championship winner Max Verstappen reflects on his outstanding 15 wins this season, but says the 'goal is to be better'.

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Formula 1 World Championship winner Max Verstappen reflects on his outstanding 15 wins this season, but says the ‘goal is to be better’.

Formula 1 World Championship winner Max Verstappen reflects on his outstanding 15 wins this season, but says the ‘goal is to be better’.

Verstappen, who will be 31-years-old when his deal ends, then admitted his reasons for those doubts.

“I want to do other stuff,” he said.

“F1 is amazing and I’ve achieved a lot, and I’m very happy and proud about it… but it’s a lot of travelling and it’s a lot of races [F1 is set for a 24-race season in 2023].

“And at one point, what is more important? Is family more important, or is F1 more important? That’s when you need to make your mind up.”

Sebastian Vettel celebrated the end of his Formula 1 career with some post-race donuts in Abu Dhabi, while the top three in the championship also joined in with the fun!

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Sebastian Vettel celebrated the end of his Formula 1 career with some post-race donuts in Abu Dhabi, while the top three in the championship also joined in with the fun!

Sebastian Vettel celebrated the end of his Formula 1 career with some post-race donuts in Abu Dhabi, while the top three in the championship also joined in with the fun!

Should Verstappen exit the sport early, it would buck a trend of modern drivers racing into their late 30s and beyond.

Lewis Hamilton is still racing at 37 and looks likely to race into his 40s, while Fernando Alonso, already 41, is starting a multi-year deal with Aston Martin next year. Michael Schumacher also returned to F1 in his 40s.

Verstappen expects ‘closer’ 2023 season

Speaking after the Abu Dhabi GP, which he won at a canter from closest title rival Charles Leclerc, Verstappen said he expects the 2023 season to be closer.

Mercedes and Ferrari are both expected to be more competitive compared to Red Bull, who will also have to contend with a loss in wind tunnel time due to their cost cap breach.

Highlights of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from Yas Marina Circuit.

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Highlights of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from Yas Marina Circuit.

Highlights of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from Yas Marina Circuit.

“I do think it will be closer,” stated Verstappen. “People are understanding the cars a lot more. And, yeah, over time all the teams will just edge closer.

“We know over the winter, we really have to keep pushing and keep trying to find performance and not only performance, understanding, possibly the tyres even more, because the tyres will change a bit for next year.

“So yeah, let’s see how we are going to manage all of that.”