Dec.13 - Reigning back-to-back world champion Max Verstappen says it's Formula 1's ever-expanding annual race calendars that will drive him off the grid.

The 25-year-old Dutchman is openly declaring that he might call it quits after his 2028 contract with Red Bull - when he will be just 31.

When asked by De Limburger newspaper to comment on the sport's 24-race calendar, which currently sits at 23 due to the latest China GP axe, Verstappen said: "I have often said that this is too much.

Verstappen says current long F1 calendars are too much

Race winner Max Verstappen and Kelly Piquet pose for a photo after the 2022 F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

"It's the main reason why I will not continue to do this until I turn 40. This much travelling and activity is just not healthy. I still really like it now, but you have to give up a lot for it as well. That sounds crazy because driving in Formula 1 is of course a dream for many people. But you are always very far from home and from the people you love. There comes a time when you are done with that."

Verstappen's potential six-year countdown to his retirement is alarming for many of his fans.

"But that's how it really is," he insists. "When I'm done with it, I'll stop. It's that simple.

"I hope that I by then I have been able to inspire and motivate the young Dutch generation in such a way that by the time I stop there may be new talent ready.

"I hope that when I am 31, there will be a new one ready," Verstappen added.

He is currently with girlfriend Kelly Piquet, the 34-year-old daughter of triple world champion Nelson Piquet.

If they have children, they will therefore have great genetic and racing pedigree - similar to his own parents Jos Verstappen and karting champion Sophie Kumpen.

"He or she will not be ready for Formula 1 in six or seven years," Max laughed. "But I definitely want kids and if they want to race, that's fine.

"I do think I would do it differently than how my father and I did it. But it's easy for me to say that because I don't have kids now.

"But the passion he had went very far," Verstappen added, referring to his father. "He did everything for me - tuning engines, preparing karts. I don't see myself doing that.

"I'm not going to push my kids to race either. They have to want it for themselves. And if you do go all out with your son or daughter, you can no longer be in Formula 1 yourself.

"You'd have to start laying the foundation from the age of four, and I still want to be there myself."


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16 F1 Fan comments on “Verstappen says current long F1 calendars are too much

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    Interesting words by him & his race calendar view is entirely understandable. Furthermore, interesting that he definitely wants kids. He's in his mid-20s, so he still has enough time to make up or change his mind, albeit he's already a step-father as Kelly Piquet has a child with Kvyat.

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  2. Blo

    If competition returns to 2021 hyper levels something may give as Verstappen says above. Liberty only cares about $$$. I hope the price for success is not to high and the drivers know when enough is enough.

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    • Jere Jyrälä

      Indeed. Not only certain team members, like mechanics, might leave, but even some drivers might opt to quit racing in F1 over the stress & fatigue levels created by big race calendars. Furthermore, new drivers might be less eager to target F1 but instead categories with far fewer events & travel. Such risks exist in the long term.

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  3. CanadianEh

    The PGA has a punishing schedule as well - almost a year-long season with tournaments practically every weekend.

    The Saudi's started their Liv Golf this year, and right away, a whole pile of big names in the PGA bailed-out and went to play for Liv. More money, and a quarter of the number of tourney's. So, they get to spend quality time with their families, and enjoy their earnings.

    Think about it: in 1983, there were 16 F1 races from mid-March to mid-October. In 2023, there will be 24. The racing starts in early March and runs to the end of November.

    I would hardly describe any F1 season as "relaxed", but the established schedule for 2023 is a forced-march that simply does not let up.

    I suspect that we'll start to see a larger turn-over in personnel at all the teams. A loss of tribal-knowledge introduces elements of risk that spans the entire spectrum of the team dynamic.

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  4. Nobodysperfect

    Hmmm, doesn't MV has a much more easy life compared to his mechanics? The don't earn 25 million a year, don't have a private jet, don't have their own staff and family around and have to work for 80 hours a week.

    Please MV keep both feet on the ground and don't start to talking like a spoiled brat!

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  5. ReallyOldRacer

    Mechanics' lifestyles aside, there isn't a 20 something racing driver in the world who wouldn't give his left pinkie to race a F1 car every other week for the rest of his/her life. That's the dream. Of course, reality eventually colors our dreams.

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  6. shroppyfly

    Drivers are in f1 because they want to be , they could earn a very decent living in other race series, So sympathy for 23/24 races Nawwww, and when was the last time an f1 driver just said Nawww i've had enough, Nico R i believe so it doesn't happen, so they shouldn't whine or whinge.No driver stays in f1 because they need the money..!

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  7. David Baines

    Have 4 drivers per team and alternate them from one race to the other, that way they only have to turn up 12 times a season. Oh and halve Their salaries , see how that’s accepted

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  8. David Baines

    I have another idea to make the racing better .Have the drivers drive for each team on an alternating bases so they all drive for a variety of teams,then you would have a true champion that could drive instead of the guy in the best car always winning .

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    • Noboysperfect

      Yeah, I've given that a thought a few years ago. My idea was to do 20 races with 10 teams (2 cars) and 20 drivers.

      Drivers are paid by the FIA and have to draw for the team/car each race, but can only drive 2x at the same team each season.

      That way you can also have a nice show around the drawing and you can find out which driver and team is really the best.

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  9. Blo

    Bear in mind that teams aren't There for the drivers benefit its the other way round, where is the benefit in providing one of a pool of cars, it’s hardly likely the same car would win every race with a different driver!
    But why do drivers get paid so much by hard nosed businessmen, maybe they are better than we think.lf you watch JB racing classics at Goodwood,he is in a different league to other top drivers.
    Let’s see Seb, Alonso and Hamilton battening it out in Cobras and E types and 250 Gto’s, I would pay to watch.

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