The two-time world champion warned he “won’t be around for too long” in what was perceived to be a quit threat if F1 bosses continued to tinker with sprint races, a format he believes goes against the sport’s DNA. 

Are Sprint Races ACTUALLY Working in Formula 1?

Verstappen moved to clarify the comments he made last time out in Australia but reiterated ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he is uncertain if he will continue in F1 beyond the expiry of his current Red Bull contract which runs through to 2028. 

“I think I always said that even if there won't be any more sprint races, if we keep expanding the calendar and the whole weekend is that long, at one point you question yourself: is it worth it?” Verstappen said. 

“I do like racing. I do like winning. I know that, of course, there is the salary and everything, and you have a good life. But is it actually a good life? Sometimes, you get to a point in your career where maybe you want to do other stuff. 

“I have the contract until the end of 2028 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.

"You always have to be talking to yourself, looking at yourself - 'are you still motivated?' and at the moment that is definitely the case but there will for sure be a point where you want to do other stuff as well.

"Sometimes, this sounds very weird for people on the outside... 'you're in Formula 1, you are winning' - I would have probably said the same when I was in their position but when you are in it, it is not always how it looks or what people think.

"Yes, it is great, it is amazing and you can do a lot of things but there is always a limit to certain things.”

The 25-year-old Dutchman, who is on track to win his third consecutive world title, reckons the changes to the sprint format - which will be run at six races in 2023 - risk taking the “shine away” from the grand prix. 

"I look at it from a racing point of view, F1 looks at it from a business point of view and of course, I understand the Sprint races they have are a bit more exciting,” Verstappen said. 

"But then I look at it from the racing point of view and normally when you do the Sprint race then lap one is exciting, a few shunts here and there and some damage but throughout the race you get quite a clear picture of what is happening, who is quickest, so you also have a clear view of what will happen the next day.

"That will probably take a bit of the shine away from the main event which I think should all be the special event.”