Verstappen drops another F1 retirement hint

Max Verstappen has dropped another hint about potentially retiring from F1

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Max Verstappen has revealed he could leave Formula 1 if Red Bull do not get the 2026 regulations right as speculation continues about his future in the sport.

Since the start of 2021, the Dutchman has enjoyed a wealth of success by winning the most races in that time and by claiming each drivers’ title. 

However, the reigning world champion has no interest in returning to the midfield battle which, despite being unlikely, could happen with the shake up of the engine regulations in 2026.

“I would leave only if the situation was really dramatic,” Verstappen told De Telegraaf. “A scenario that I think is quite remote since I do not expect that a team like ours can lose so much ground against the competition in light of the very good people who work with us. 

“Obviously I wouldn’t fight for three years in midfield, at which point I would stay at home or do something else. But, I repeat, I really do not believe that this scenario can be realised.”

Where could Verstappen go?

Verstappen has sporadically dropped hints he could leave F1 if the rules are tampered with too often, if there are too many races or if Red Bull becomes uncompetitive, although he is under contract with the Austrian team until 2028.

The Dutchman has previously spoken of a desire to compete in endurance racing with his father, Jos Verstappen, who formerly raced in F1.

Whilst Indycar also represents an interesting challenge, the 25-year-old has said he does not want to compete on oval circuits, due to the high speeds and concrete barriers presenting a risk too far for his liking.

Austrian GP 2023 winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

If he does decide to leave Red Bull, could a switch to one of their rivals be on the cards? Mercedes, in the past, courted the Dutchman before he joined Toro Rosso for 2015, and there is no doubt that every single team on the grid would be interesting in signing someone of his talent.

But as he approaches a decade with the Red Bull family, would Verstappen really leave the team, especially as they are likely to remain competitive.

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.

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