Max Verstappen disagrees with his father on reaction to life without F1

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen gives a wave. Belgium July 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen gives a wave. Belgium July 2023

Max Verstappen has insisted he will not miss life in F1 and the pressure it brings when he eventually leaves the sport, even if his father Jos disagrees.

Verstappen has established himself as one of the greatest drivers in history since arriving on the grid at the age of 17 in 2015, claiming 45 grand prix victories and 27 pole positions.

His latest victory at last month’s Belgian Grand Prix means Verstappen has won 35 of the last 56 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning season in 2021.

Max Verstappen in F1 for a good time, not a long time

Currently with an eye-watering 125-point lead over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez with 10 races remaining in 2023, the 25-year-old is almost certain to be crowned World Champion for the third time in the coming weeks.

Despite his lofty position at the sport’s summit, Verstappen has repeatedly stressed that he has no intention of remaining in F1 for the long term having arrived on the grid so young.

And speaking ahead of his home race at this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, Verstappen has reiterated that he is quite looking forward to the day his F1 career is over – even if his father Jos, who registered two podium finishes in 106 F1 starts between 1994 and 2003, isn’t so convinced.

He told Formule.nl: “It will be different, I am aware of that, but that might also be nice.

“There is now always a lot of pressure on you during such a race weekend and that year after year. Maybe it is nice to relax and tackle the things you like at a certain point.

“A lot of people say I’m going to miss this life and the pressure it brings later. My father says so too. But personally I don’t think so.

“If you’ve done it a lot and for a long time, you’re a bit done with it at some point.

“Not yet, of course, but there will come a time when enough is enough. Don’t forget, I started karts when I was four. You will wonder when it will stop that you constantly have to get the best out of yourself to reach the very highest.”

Put to him that life in F1 has become second nature to him in a way that may prove difficult to switch off, Verstappen replied: “That’s right, I don’t know any better either.

“And in other areas I will probably also want to continue to get the best out of myself. But if something doesn’t work out later than once, it’s not a disaster. Then it’s all just a bit more relaxed.”

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Verstappen has been a fierce critic of F1’s ever-expanding calendar and, with 24 races making up next year’s schedule, he has doubled down on his belief that the intense workload could ultimately be a factor to drive him away.

He explained: “Has it been enough? Yes.

“I’ve always said 24 race weekends is a lot. It’s not just about the races, but everything around it makes it tough. All marketing activities, the simulator days, the personal sponsorship obligations. In fact, you don’t have any days off left.

“I often talk about that with people around me. Those are all things that factor into deciding how long to keep going. Of course I am glad that I am in the position that I can make those future decisions myself.

“The goal was always to become World Champion and win races. That has all worked out. I’ve said it before: everything that comes now is really just a bonus.”

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