Verstappen could retire from F1 ‘sooner than we all think’

Max Verstappen may choose to retire from F1 “sooner than we all think”, according to Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post qualifying FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post qualifying FIA Press…

The Dutchman is charging towards a second successive title in F1 this year after beating Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 crown on the last lap of the controversial decider in Abu Dhabi following a fierce season-long battle. 

Verstappen holds an 109-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc heading into Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza and could wrap up this year’s championship as soon as the next race in Singapore, if results go his way.

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Given Red Bull’s supremacy this season, with Verstappen winning 10 of the 15 races so far, many have tipped the 24-year-old - who has already racked up 30 grand prix victories - to challenge Hamilton’s F1 records in the future. 

But Marko has claimed that Verstappen may decide not to stick around that long.

“We want to win more titles together,” he told Germany’s Sport1. 

“But I doubt if we will see Max drive until he has broken all records.

“He could make it, but he’s also the type of person who packs his things and leaves when he no longer feels like it.

“No matter how much you offer him, he won’t stay. And that could happen sooner than we all think.”

(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant on the grid.
(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with Dr Helmut Marko (AUT)…

Earlier this year, Verstappen signed a new five-year deal - reported to be worth $55million a year - to keep him at the team until 2028, when Verstappen will be 31. 

Verstappen himself admitted in May that he could quit the sport once his new contract expires. 

“The plan is to stay here until 2028,” he said. “I am not planning on changing teams. I am happy here and they are happy with me. But I have not made up my mind what I will do after 2028. I might stop.

“I have been in F1 since I was 17. It has been a long time. I have done a lot of seasons in F1. 

“I may want to do different stuff. By 31, I don’t know whether I will have peaked or where the drop-off in performance may have occurred.

“I want to do other types of races - endurance racing, for example. Maybe I will have had enough of travelling all the time. Maybe I will want an easier life and just to do the races I like.

“Whenever an opportunity comes to win a championship, you want to take it. If I am in a fight in 2028 it may be stupid to suddenly stop. It is difficult to know."

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