How Max Verstappen would feel if F1 career suddenly ‘goes to sh*t’

Sam Cooper
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen with his hand to his head, speaking with Helmut Marko and Christian Horner. Baku April 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen with his hand to his head, speaking with Helmut Marko and Christian Horner. Baku April 2023

Even if his Formula 1 career was to go to “sh*t” tomorrow, Max Verstappen would sleep easy knowing he has achieved what he first set out to do.

From a trophy point of view, he is right – with the Dutchman having won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles at least once but champions tend to focus on what comes next and inevitably their minds turn to records.

Verstappen’s young age of 25 and the current dominance of the Red Bull car have caused many to put forward his name to be a possible contender to break the record number of World Championships of seven currently held by Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

But while it seems as if he has time on his side, what is less sure is his motivation, with Verstappen frequently suggesting he may choose to walk away at the end of his current Red Bull contract in 2028 when he would be 30.

In the world of sport which is occupied by those who wish to be seen as definitely the very best, Verstappen’s attitude can be puzzling for many but the Dutchman said that even if it were to all be over tomorrow, he would not lost a moment’s sleep for he feels he has already achieved what he set out to do.

“Initially, when I got into Formula 1,” he told the Times, “what worried me was: will I get a car that allows me to show what I can do out there? Luckily I got into that position. Say it all goes to sh*t now? Whatever — I’ve already done everything I want to do in Formula 1.

“Because I won my first title and then my second so, for me, I’ve won everything in Formula 1 that I could win.

“There are no new goals in Formula 1 because once you have achieved everything, that is it.” recommends

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It is clear then that Verstappen continues to race not in pursuit of glory but instead because he enjoys it and while that appears to still be the case, he has often pointed towards an increased workload and continuing tinkering of the weekend format as possible motives for him to walk away.

“It depends how long you want to go,” Verstappen said, having previously asked before the race in Baku whether it was worth it or not.

Even if Verstappen were to walk away at the end of the 2023 season, his legacy would be complete with plenty of records to go along with his presumably third Drivers’ title.