Max Verstappen drops another big hint over long-term F1 future

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen celebrates moments after winning the Austrian Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen celebrates dominant Austrian Grand Prix win.

Rather than getting bored of dominating in Formula 1, slipping away from the victory scene would put the “fire” out for Max Verstappen.

Off the back of his march to the 2022 Drivers’ title, winning a record 15 grands prix across the campaign, Verstappen has only enhanced his level of superiority in F1 2023 as he bulldozes his way to a third World Championship.

Verstappen has claimed 10 wins from 12 as the F1 2023 campaign reaches its summer break, the Dutchman on a run of eight wins a row, with World title number three already in the bag bar the most emphatic implosion in the history of F1 title bids.

Max Verstappen claims this “keeps the fire going”

After team-mate Sergio Perez’s title challenge crumbled earlier in the season, Verstappen has been left without any viable challenger on his way to recording victory after victory.

But, instead of the lack of competition getting a bit boring, he says his desire to be competing in Formula 1 would actually fade if he was not going into race weekends with the win possible.

Asked by Sky F1 if he needs more of a challenge to keep that racing fire going, Verstappen replied: “This keeps the fire going. If I have to rock up and I have no chance of winning then the fire starts to go away.”

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Verstappen is under contract at Red Bull through to the end of the 2028 campaign, and has consistently dropped hints that he will walk away from Formula 1 after that.

The Dutchman has cited the increasingly-demanding calendar as a major concern, though he has also admitted that it would be hard to quit the series if he and Red Bull were still on top.

Since that is currently the case then, it was suggested to Verstappen that we should still see him in Formula 1 for a good while yet, though he did not commit to that, explaining that while Red Bull are very much leading the way right now, that is not guaranteed into next season and beyond.

“Well, I don’t know,” said Verstappen to the suggestion he will be around in Formula 1 for a while yet. “It depends what we keep doing every single year.

“But this year, it’s looking great, but next year is again a completely different year.”

Verstappen has already established a 125-point lead over team-mate Perez at the top of the F1 2023 Championship standings.

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