George Russell fires serious Max Verstappen accusation

Max Verstappen has been threatening to retire from Formula 1 should the calendar continue to grow, claiming there are too many races each year.

Mercedes driver George Russell has weighed in on Max Verstappen’s recent comments about the 2024 Formula 1 calendar, suggesting that the Dutchman’s talk of retirement is merely a tactic to negotiate a better contract. 

Verstappen expressed his discontent with the expanded 24-race calendar, stating that it would be “too many” races and could potentially impact his decision to stay beyond his current contract, which runs until 2028.

When asked about Verstappen’s remarks and the effect of a high number of races on drivers, Russell playfully remarked, “I think he’s whinging because he wants more money! 

“He’s the highest-paid driver on this grid, and rightly so for what he’s achieved, but I think it’s all a big tactic, this threat of retirement and whatnot.”

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Russell, who hopes to compete against the best drivers in the world, expressed his desire for Verstappen to remain in Formula 1 and dismissed the notion of retirement. 

The young British driver believes that the competitive challenge posed by Verstappen is vital for the sport’s overall excitement and his personal growth as a driver.

The 2023 Formula 1 calendar was already set to be one of the longest in the championship’s history before the cancellations of the Chinese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. Fernando Alonso, another experienced driver, has also voiced concerns about the increased stress on mechanics and team personnel due to the expanded schedule.

Russell suggests that Formula 1 should strike a balance between adding races to the calendar and reducing the workload on drivers and teams. 

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He argued, “It is challenging. We can’t just keep adding more commitments, more races, more, more, more… There’s got to be a point where if you’re adding [races], something has to be taken off.”

The Mercedes driver acknowledged the demanding nature of the sport, highlighting that as more races are added, drivers and teams face increased commitments and overtime work. 

He expressed confidence that the situation is similar at Red Bull Racing, Verstappen’s team. Russell believes that finding equilibrium is crucial, and if other commitments were reduced, drivers would be content racing every weekend.