Red Bull worried about Max Verstappen copying Nico Rosberg

Max Verstappen is chasing down his third consecutive Formula 1 world championship with Red Bull.

Max Verstappen is currently cruising at the top of the Driver’s Standings with 195 points, having come off a comfortable win at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 18th.

However, Helmut Marko has pointed out that success doesn’t ensure a driver will remain in the seat, using the famous case of German driver Nico Rosberg as evidence.

Rosberg quit in 2016, following a long, tiring title battle with his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, which resulted in his victory.

However, Mercedes were shocked when Rosberg immediately retired following this successful campaign, with the German driver citing family reasons for his decision to depart.

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Marko may be concerned as Verstappen previously commented that he is in F1 for “a good time, not a long time,” and also vocalised concerns about the direction in which the sport is heading.

His criticisms of F1 include the clustered and ever-growing race calendar, the addition of Sprint races (which he considers gimmicky), and the personal pressures placed on drivers.

The Dutch driver’s contract with Red Bull elapses in 2028 and there is every likelihood that Verstappen could abruptly quit.

Marko told media sources that: “I’m aware of it, he won’t go forever. But I hope that he doesn’t do it like Nico and just saying it after a bad year. Give us some warning, at least, so we can react on it! But I’m aware that it will come.”

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When Nico Rosberg prematurely left Mercedes in 2016, the team was left scrambling to find a suitable replacement – eventually settling on Valtteri Bottas, who didn’t achieve the same levels of success as his predecessor.

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Marko has acknowledged that the F1 schedule is unrelenting and can lead to racer burnout, and believes that Verstappen would certainly still have a racing career when he does retire.

The Red Bull team adviser commented: “He won’t stop racing completely. I think Le Mans and things like that where he’s just going to have fun and enjoy it, he will still do this sort of racing.”

Verstappen has indeed expressed particular interest in endurance series such as the World Endurance Championship, citing the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours as a particular target.