Max Verstappen has scoffed when he plans to retire from Formula One altogether. Before aiming for a third consecutive World Drivers’ Championship, Red Bull’s No. 1 driver spoke to CNN Sport at the team’s season launch in New York about the upcoming season, as well as his future plans.
The defending world champion is preparing for pre-season testing in Bahrain, hoping to make it a hat-trick of F1 titles after topping the standings in back-to-back seasons.
Verstappen is linked to a £40m-a-year ($48m) contract at Red Bull, which runs until 2028. By then, he will have spent 14 seasons on the Formula 1 circuit since becoming the youngest ever Grand Prix driver. 2015.
That could be enough for the Dutchman, who has seriously considered a step away from the pinnacle of motorsports when his deal ends.
On the subject of matching Tom Brady’s desire to play the NFL until the age of 45, Verstappen has revealed that he may call the curtains back on his career after his contract expires in 2028.
The 25-year-old told CNN: “You know, Formula 1 has been a big part of my life and we travel a lot, and I think at some point you also have to basically ask yourself, ‘Is it worth it?’
“To spend so much time away from family and friends by striving for more success. I mean, I’ve already achieved everything I wanted to do in Formula One.
“It makes the decision about the future easier, of course. But I also have a contract until 2028, then I’ll be 31 and that’s still very young, but I want to do a lot of different things with my life.”
This list does not include emulating the boss, Christian Horner, in the main team role. The British Red Bull boss is the circuit’s longest-serving boss, having been with the Austrian team since its inception in 2005.
He continued: “I also like other types of motorsports, like endurance racing. Formula 1 has taken up a big part of my life for a long time.
“We have to travel a lot and there will be more races to come. That’s when the question arises whether the pursuit of more successes is worth spending so much time away from your family and friends.”
Another championship win this year would make him the fifth driver to win three consecutive F1 titles, after Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, who is about to start his 16th season as a Formula 1 driver, has shown alongside Fernando Alonso, 41, that age is no obstacle behind the wheel.
The 38-year-old will aim to return to challenge Verstappen in 2022 after going winless last year, as the Briton continues without showing signs of retiring.
Vettel’s philosophy follows the same approach as Verstappen, with the German retiring at the end of 2022 at the age of 35.
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