Russell on Verstappen retirement threat: He wants more money

The Mercedes driver did not hold back on what he thought Verstappen's true motive was in future of F1 debate.


George Russell has claimed Max Verstappen’s threat of Formula 1 retirement is all a big tactic to get more money.

The championship leader has claimed that the 24 races scheduled in 2024 is bordering on too many and he has mentioned that he could retire at the end of his current contract previously.

Russell does not agree that 24 races is too many, however, and claimed that Verstappen’s stance is just a tactic to get paid more money.

“I think he’s whinging because he wants more money,” Russell told the media, including, ahead of the British Grand Prix.

“He’s the highest paid on this grid and rightly so on what he’s achieving but I think it’s all a big tactic with his threat of retirement.

“I hope he doesn’t, I hope he stays as long as I stay because I want to fight with the best drivers in the world.”

McLaren going backwards

Russell didn’t save his savagery for Verstappen, though, as he also took a cheeky swipe at McLaren and their demise while he waxed lyrical about Lando Norris.

“Our relationship has always been good,” Russell added. “We’re maybe a lot closer this year, we’ve been playing a lot of paddle tennis recently.

“It’s a difficult place for Lando at the moment because he’s a fantastic driver and it’s challenging that as a team their performance is almost going slightly backwards compared to the first year when he came onto the scene.

“It’s the same for Charles (Leclerc) and there are probably four or five drivers on the grid who are deserving of being world champion but that’s not the way the sport works.”

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for and a top class F1 writer.
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