‘I might stop’: Max Verstappen drops Formula 1 retirement hint

Max Verstappen's new deal with Red Bull is said to be worth around $250 million.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has conceded that he does not know what awaits him at the end of his next contract that expires in 2028, so it is entirely possible that he will leave Formula 1.

The Dutchman was awarded a new contract following his dramatic late championship success last season, and it is reported to be worth around $250 million over five years from the end of his current deal next year and the end of the 2028 season.

Verstappen pledged his allegiance to Red Bull following his victory in Abu Dhabi last season, during which he passed Sir Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the race, and he reiterates now that he has no intention of going elsewhere.

READ: Lewis Hamilton expecting ‘lottery’ at wet Monaco Grand Prix

“The plan is to stay here until 2028,” he told the Mail.

“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.”

Verstappen entered F1 as a 17-year-old in 2015 with Toro Rosso, and managed to out-qualify fellow rookie Carlos Sainz nine times in 19 races, finishing ahead of the Spaniard in the Drivers’ Standings.

His performance against another driver from a racing heritage was particularly impressive for his age, but what really exemplified his unbridled talent was his overtaking ability – his wonderful pass on Felipe Nasr in Spa that year can attest to that.

He moved to Red Bull in 2016 when Daniil Kvyat was dropped following just four rounds of the season, and he announced himself among the big hitters by instantly winning on his debut in Barcelona.

Article continues below

23 victories and a championship has followed since in what is becoming a glowing career for the 24-year-old.

Exactly how long he will continue to shine is a question only time will answer, and Verstappen intends to simply see how things pan out over the next six years.

“I have been in Formula 1 since I was 17. It has been a long time,” added Verstappen.

“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.”

The F1 circus has rolled into Monaco this weekend, and there is a chance that it will be the last time due to the threat of the Principality disappearing from the calendar.

READ: Magnussen admits he was too hard on Hamilton

This is because of the influx of new races in new demographics as the pinnacle of motorsport tries to broaden its horizons, but Verstappen is a huge fan of the historic track, which requires “crazy and stupid” drivers to tackle it.

“Monaco is insane in terms of history,” he explained. 

“It is different. It is special. Perhaps the race itself will not be the most exciting, depending on the weather, and sometimes something crazy happens. 

“But qualifying on Saturday is the highlight of the Monaco Grand Prix.

“Watching on TV you cannot see how narrow the track is. You have to visit it to see how amazing it is. You can then see how crazy and stupid we are.”