Max Verstappen drops another retirement hint in warning to Formula 1

Max Verstappen's current contract expires at the end of the 2028 F1 season.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has hinted once again that he could retire from Formula 1 at the end of 2028, with the Dutchman being concerned that the sport is making too many changes to its format.

Despite being just 25 years old, Verstappen is very much one of the more traditional F1 drivers, with the Dutchman preferring the format as it currently is.

He’s openly spoken out against sprint races, or practice sessions being cancelled, both of which are set to be seen at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Free Practice is a hot topic at the moment, with F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali having expressed his intent at removing as much practice time as possible.

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The Italian believes that every session should have a competitive element to it, whether that be points or a position on the grid.

This month’s race at the Baku City Circuit is, of course, going to host the first of six sprint races this season; however, further format changes are currently in the works.

It’s been reported by that the teams have agreed to two qualifying sessions in Baku, one on the Friday to determine the grid for the main race and one on Saturday to determine the grid for the sprint.

Friday’s qualifying session would replace FP2, whilst Saturday’s qualifying session would replace FP3.

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The proposed format looks increasingly likely to be implemented in Azerbaijan, although, it does still need to be granted approval by the F1 Commission and the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.

All the changes are likely to push Verstappen even closer to wanting to leave the sport when his lucrative contract expires, especially given the increased demand another qualifying session would put onto the drivers.

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Verstappen wants to see the race on Sunday remain as the key highlight of the weekend, with him set to depart the sport should “too many changes” get introduced.

“I’m happy with just the main race. I think that’s way better for the excitement,” Verstappen told Portuguese channel Sport TV after FP2 in Melbourne.

“I naturally, of course, hope that there won’t be too many changes otherwise I won’t be around for too long.”