Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has candidly revealed his occasional doubts about the worthiness of navigating the demanding landscape of modern Formula 1.
Despite heading towards a seemingly unstoppable third championship, Verstappen, at just 25 years old, is already pondering the toll of the sport’s evolution.
While Verstappen is in his ninth Formula 1 season, his disapproval of racing deep into his 30s is palpable.
Having solidified his position within Red Bull Racing with a contract extending until the end of 2038, the Dutch driver has recently aired his grievances regarding the sport’s attempts to engage new audiences, often sacrificing substance for gimmicks.
Verstappen has been particularly vocal about his discontent with the sprint weekend format and has hinted that further alterations to the sport’s core principles might lead to his early departure.
The champion has emphasised his desire for changes that truly enhance Formula 1 rather than serving as mere superficial adjustments.
Addressing his concerns in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Verstappen expressed his reservations about the recent alterations in the sport.
He shared, “I am concerned about the sport that I have always loved.
“I still like it, but only to a certain extent.
“It’s not that I’m completely against change, as is sometimes said.
“But they must be changes that benefit Formula 1.”
Verstappen’s focus on substantive changes rather than fleeting adjustments underscores his commitment to maintaining the integrity of the sport.
He emphasised that alterations should be carefully evaluated, especially when the sport is performing well.
“Why do you have to change certain things when things are going well?
“I think a traditional qualifying session is well set up in that format.
“It shouldn’t just be about money.”
Verstappen has also raised concerns about the increasing workload placed on drivers, particularly with the expansion of the race calendar to a record-breaking 24 races in the upcoming season.
While acknowledging the appeal of more races, he highlighted the burden of additional promotional responsibilities.
For example, I spend more than a month a year on marketing. At a certain point you don’t feel like it anymore.”
The champion underscored that his concerns are not solely centred around financial aspects, stating, “It’s about wellbeing — how you experience things, not how much you earn.
“Sometimes I think I have to do too many things and not do [other things I enjoy]. Then I sometimes think, ‘Is this still worth it?'”
Despite his contemplative views, Verstappen’s dominance remains unwavering.
With a substantial lead in the current championship race and a Red Bull Racing team that has strategically built itself around him, the path to success seems assured this year.