After sprint race remarks, Verstappen expresses his actual view on F1’s future


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After sprint race remarks, Verstappen expresses his actual view on F1’s future 4

The world champion has never hidden his distaste for the sprint races, and comments he made about them during the Australian Grand Prix were seen by some as a quit threat. Verstappen did, however, shed some light on his genuine thoughts on his future in grand prix racing when his current contract expires in 2028 ahead of the first F1 sprint weekend of the year in Baku, two weeks ago.

And he has made it clear that the general status of Formula One and the pressures it throws on drivers would mean much more to him than specific factors like sprint races.

When asked by media analysts if he would actually quit Formula One due to sprint races, Verstappen responded: “I think I always said that even if there won’t be any more sprint races, if we keep expanding the calendar and the whole weekend is that long, at one point you question yourself: is it worth it?”

“I do like racing. I do like winning. I know that, of course, there is the salary and everything, and you have a good life. But is it actually a good life? I think sometimes you get to a point in your career where maybe you want to do other stuff. I have the contract until the end of 2028 and then we’ll review again, but I do feel that if it’s getting at one point too much, then it’s time for a change.”

He added: “This sounds very weird for people from the outside, because they’re like, ‘oh, you’re in Formula 1, you’re winning!’ And probably I would have said the same when I was in their position. But once you’re in it, it’s not always how it looks like or how people think your life is. I mean, yes, it’s great, it’s amazing and I can do a lot of things. I’m very independent. But there is always a limit to certain things.”

Verstappen understands business decisions

Max Verstappen French GP
After sprint race remarks, Verstappen expresses his actual view on F1’s future 5

One more year, Verstappen is the favorite at -700 odds at US online sportsbooks to come out on top of the Drivers Championship this season. According to , his teammate Sergio Perez is currently at +650 odds to win the title, while Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are at +2800 odds. 

Without a doubt, his favoritism is absolute this year, which could make Max a three-time world champion. But winning is not everything for the Dutchman in the world of F1. In addition to the sporty aspect, there are other areas that concern him.

Max claimed that while he was aware of the financial motivations behind F1’s pursuit of concepts like sprint races, he was only concerned with the integrity of the racing and believed that the spectacle did not gain anything from them.

“Probably F1 looks at it from a business point of view,” he said. “I understand the sprint races, they probably add a bit more excitement, but then I look at it from the racing point of view. And I’m like, ‘well normally, when you then do the sprint races, lap one is exciting, a few shunts here and there, damage, blah, blah, blah, and safety car, a bit more excitement.”

“But then throughout the race, you get quite a clear picture of what is happening, and who is the quickest, so then you also have quite a clear view on what’s going to happen the next day. That probably takes a bit of the shine away from the main event, which I think always should be the special event.”

Ralf Schumacher warns the champion to accept changes

Max Verstappen
Image Credits – Sky Sports

After F1’s chief executive Stefano Domenicali suggested that additional qualifying could be introduced on sprint weekends, with one practice session omitted, Verstappen complained about the decision and threatened to leave the sport.

However, according to former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, Max Verstappen should “pack his things and leave” or accept the changes to Formula 1.

Schumacher claimed in an interview with Sky Germany that while he “understands” Verstappen’s viewpoint, the Dutchman “gets paid to do it.”

“The past, the present and the future have shown or will show that Formula 1 is much bigger than any individual,” he said. “Bernie Ecclestone is also gone, and without him Formula 1 wouldn’t exist – and now it’s more successful than ever. So Verstappen should either pack his things and leave, or just accept it as it is.”

“I understand his attitude because there are a lot of risks [due to the increased number of sprints]. But still, he gets paid to do it. If he wants to go, then he has to go. Formula 1 will not perish, as much as I love him.”