Max Verstappen is in a phase of reflection. He is no longer the terrible kid who wanted to climb to the top of Formula 1. It is the world champion who looks to the series who consecrated him with a certain concern for the future: in Australia the Dutchman had shown his aversion to racing Sprint. Here in Baku Max has returned to the theme, arguing better what he thinks.
He has no intention of stopping racing and knows he has a valid contract with Red Bull until the end of 2028, but it is clear that certain changes in the Circus are starting to feel as tight for him as a suit of a smaller size and he doesn’t hide his annoyance .
The problem isn’t just the Sprint races, Verstappen’s speech is much more articulated…
“I think the sprint races aren’t the problem, if we keep expanding the calendar or filling up the race weekend. At some point it will be normal to ask yourself: is all this worth it?”
“I want to say that I like racing. I like to win. I know, obviously, there’s a hefty salary and everything and I know I have a privileged life. But is it really a good life? I think sometimes you get to a point in your career where maybe you want other things.”
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, looks to the future not only thinking about the successes in F1
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“I have a contract that runs until the end of 2028 and then we’ll talk about it again, but if at some point he feels like it’s getting too much then it’s time for a change. I can understand that my speech might seem strange to people on the outside, because they think I’m lucky enough to win in Formula 1. And I probably would have thought the same when I was in their position.”
“But once you’re in it, reality isn’t always what it seems or how people might think your life is. I won’t deny that it’s fantastic. And I feel very independent, but there’s always a limit to certain things.”
At this point Max begins a distinction on the orientation of F1 too focused on the commercial aspect and it is said that the search for entertainment at any moment of the weekend is always positive…
“F1 is probably looking to the future from a commercial point of view. I understand sprint racing, they can probably add a little more excitement, but then I look at it from the racing enthusiasts side. The first lap will be exciting, with some touching here and there, there will be some damage and then here is the blah, blah before the safety car. It is obvious that there is more excitement.”
“But then the picture of the race emerges quite clearly and the fastest emerges: in short, you have a fairly clear vision of what will happen the next day. And I think all this can take away some of the brilliance from the main event: I think Sunday’s race should always be the special event.”
Endurance ma non IndyCar
Verstappen, therefore, does not repudiate the Formula which, given all the satisfactions he needs at the moment, but does not hide the idea of competing in other series in the future, perhaps in endurance races.
“There are people who love to run and this is the only thing they know how and want to do – added Max – I’m probably more in the middle. you can combine the two”.
One basic idea remains: running endurance races with dad Jos, perhaps going to Le Mans together…
“I keep telling him that time is running out and he’s getting old. But it could also be without my father, we’ll see. I wouldn’t mind creating my own team. There are many things I would like to do other than drive myself.”
If there’s one thing he rules out, it’s the move to American races like Indycar…
“I like watching IndyCar. I think there are a lot of good drivers and some I’ve raced with that I know who I like to see them do well, but I have no intention of driving at Indy500. I could go watch the race, but I absolutely won’t to compete”.