Max Verstappen’s father fires retirement warning about his son

Max Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2028.

Max Verstappen wrapped up his second consecutive World Championship at last weekend’s first Japanese Grand Prix since 2019, after claiming his 12th victory of the 2022 season.

The Dutchman has been imperious in his defence of his 2021 crown and has looked virtually unbeatable since the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

It still seems unthinkable that Verstappen was over 40 points behind Charles Leclerc after the third round of the season, following two reliability-based retirements early in the year.

He’s turned the tables dramatically ever since and has won 11 of the last 15 races, with his total of 12 wins for 2022 so far putting him just one-off the record for most wins in a single season.

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Verstappen has completely dominated the year since Red Bull got on top of their reliability issues, with Verstappen’s father and ex-F1 driver Jos Verstappen admitting his son “knows what he’s doing”.

“I think Max is not only incredibly good, but he also knows what he’s doing,” Jos told Dutch magazine Formule 1.

With 2022 having ended up being as comfortable as it has been for the 25-year-old, some have questioned if we are entering some sort of a Verstappen era, with the Dutchman likely to be the championship favourite until the regulations next change in 2026.

It’s been seen in the past that a single driver can dominate an era of the sport, with the likes of Michael Schumacher having done so from 2000-2004 and Sir Lewis Hamilton from 2014-2020 (excluding 2016).

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Jos knows that his son can “compete for the world title every year” but recognises the fact that Red Bull needs to continue to offer the World Champion a “competitive car”.

“It depends on how good the car is,” the double World Champion’s father said.

“If Max has a competitive car, he will compete for the world title every time. Because the strength of the driver will then be decisive. Then we are set.”

Verstappen may well dominate until the end of his lucrative Red Bull contract, which is currently set to end at the end of 2028.

By then the Dutchman will be 31-years-old, not exactly a retirement age, but certainly an age where he might consider his options elsewhere.

His father isn’t giving too much away just yet, with that decision to be made nearer the time.

“We will take stock again in 2028,” he said.

“It’s not like he’s chasing records.”

Retiring from F1 appears to be something that probably won’t faze the Red Bull driver, with Jos revealing that actually his son “doesn’t even want to talk” about the championship when away from the circuit.

The former F1 driver has warned that the rapidly expanding calendar is actually becoming “too much”, with “rest” being more important than ever before.

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“Every now and then you really need that rest,” said Jos.

“Max can be completely ‘off’. After the season or during the summer break, he doesn’t even want to talk about Formula 1 anymore.

“In my time we had a maximum of 18 races. Now there are 22 and next year there are 24. You can also have too much.”