Max Verstappen drops big retirement hint

Max Verstappen will be 31 when his current Red Bull contract expires.

Max Verstappen has indicated that he does not want to solely focus on Formula 1 for the rest of his career.

The Dutchman arrived in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2015 when he signed with Toro Rosso, and won on his debut at the Spanish Grand Prix with Red Bull a year later.

Another 31 victories have since taken him to two world titles on the trot, and the reward for his first was a new contract that runs until the end of 2028.

The 25-year-old has frequently said that he does now know what his future has in store for him after that; he will be older and more mature, and his interests might have diversified.

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As far as Verstappen knows, he could end up racing in the pinnacle of motorsport beyond the age of 31, but he does not have a crystal ball.

“It can be a long time but in the end, I don’t see myself driving until I am 40 because I also want to do other stuff,” he said.

“I’m having a lot of fun with what I’m doing right now and I’m still in F1 for a couple more years, I’m signed until ’28. 

“After that, it depends on how everything is going. I will probably try to do a few different racing things as well because it’s important to try different things.”

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Asked about his immediate plans after he claimed his second consecutive championship in Suzuka last weekend, the Dutchman simply replied, “I’m flying home.” 

“I already planned that for whatever would happen at the weekend,” added Verstappen.

“It’s important to sometimes rest a bit but once I get home, for sure, you can relax a little bit but at the same time, look forward to the remaining races.”

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Verstappen and team-mate, Sergio Perez, still have a Constructors’ Championship to wrap up against Ferrari, whom they lead by 165 points going into the final four rounds.

Between them, the Red Bull pair have claimed 14 victories, while Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have a combined four.

If the Austrian side avoid dropping 18 points to the Scuderia next weekend at the United States Grand Prix, they will be crowned five-times constructors’ champions.