Christian Horner breaks silence on Max Verstappen breaching contract to retire

Max Verstappen's current lucrative Red Bull contract is due to expire at the end of 2028.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that reigning World Champion Max Verstappen retiring from Formula 1 isn’t “an imminent risk”, due to the Dutchman still having several years on his contract.

Despite being the highest-paid driver on the grid, Verstappen has threatened to quit F1 several times in recent months, with the 25-year-old growing increasingly disgruntled with the changes to the sport’s format.

Since they were initially discussed, Verstappen has been profoundly against sprint races, with his displeasure for the shortened races having remained since their introduction.

Much to his dissatisfaction, the likelihood is that sprint races will continue to have a growing presence on the F1 calendar, following reports that Liberty Media want to see 10 of them feature in 2024.

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He’s openly stated to the media that he will simply quit the pinnacle of motorsport if the traditional format continues to be eradicated, meaning he could retire at just 31 years old.

Verstappen will be 31 when his current deal with Red Bull expires, a contract he still has another five seasons on.

Horner is actually pleased that Verstappen has been able to share his view on the format changes and sees it as a positive for the sport.

With him still having several years on his contract, though, the Red Bull boss isn’t necessarily concerned about the Dutchman quitting just yet.

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“Well, thankfully, his contract has many years to run on it, so we don’t see that as an imminent risk,” Horner told media, including

“But, you know, of course, he has an opinion on it and he’ll always speak openly on it and voice his opinion.

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“And I think that it’s so hard to look too far down the road. Did Fernando Alonso think he’d be racing at 42? Probably not. I mean, Lewis Hamilton is in his latter 30s.

“So the future is just so difficult to predict. But I think it’s great that drivers do have opinions and they don’t just become stereotypes.

With Sergio Perez’s contract expiring at the end of 2024, the Mexican is more likely than not going to be the next driver for Red Bull to replace, before the attention turns as to who could replace Verstappen.