Christian Horner hints at Max Verstappen retirement due to ‘ambitions beyond F1’
CHRISTIAN HORNER has hinted that Max Verstappen may retire from Formula One early as he has ‘ambitions beyond racing.’
The Red Bull driver sealed his third consecutive world championship after finishing second in the Qatar GP sprint race on Saturday.
Verstappen, still only 26, became the first driver to wrap up a title during a sprint event, the short-form format introduced in 2021.
The Dutchman has completely dominated this season, winning 13 of the 16 races and getting on the podium in two more.
But Red Bull team principal Horner has suggested he won’t continue deep into his thirties.
Horner told PA Media: “He can go on to achieve so much more.
“We are riding a wave at the moment, and we want to continue riding that wave for as long as we can.
“Will Max be in Formula One for a long, long time? I don’t think so.
“He has ambitions beyond F1 and beyond racing, and at 26, 36 seems a long way away.
“We have a long-term agreement with him until 2028, and he has always said he will be happy to start and end his career here, but motivation will be a crucial factor.”
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He also set a new record earlier in the campaign by racking up 10 consecutive wins, surpassing the legendary Michael Schumacher in the process.
Sergio Perez’s two early victories and Carlos Sainz’s win in Singapore remain the only blots on Verstappen’s historic record this year.
The Dutchman now leads his team-mate by a staggering 184 points.
He became the 11th driver to reach at least three titles and just the fifth to clinch a hat-trick in a row.
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