Max Verstappen tells Red Bull what will change his mind on retirement

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step

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Max Verstappen has claimed Red Bull could change his mind about retiring from F1 if the team are still challenging at the front of the field. The reigning champion hinted he would be prepared to walk away at the end of his current contract in 2028 to spend more time with family.

However, he stressed that he could be tempted to remain depending on how competitive Red Bull still are. The Dutchman made the comment when asked if he still meant he wanted to remain at Red Bull for another 10 to 15 years. 

He made the pledge over team radio moments after winning the championship in Abu Dhabi last season. Verstappen responded: “That’s why I signed until 2028. Then I’m 31 years old, I don’t know after that if i’m going to continue in Formula One. 

“But it also probably depends a little bit on how competitive we are in 2028. F1 is amazing and I’ve achieved a lot and I’m very happy and proud about it. But it’s a lot of travelling. It’s a lot of races and at what point, what is more important. Is family more important or is F1 more important, that is where you have to make your mind up.”

Verstappen revealed he had set a clear timeline for his F1 exit in Thursday’s press conference. The Red Bull star was asked whether criticism after his team orders row with Sergio Perez had made him want to quit. 

He responded: “It’s not only related to that, to be honest, but I won’t be here when I’m 40, that’s for sure.” However, earlier in the conference Verstappen said he was not prepared to walk away just yet. 

The comment came after Daniel Ricciardo was asked to give a tribute to ex-Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel ahead of his final race. 

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Ricciardo said: “When you said former, I thought you were saying Max is hanging it up! You’re not are you?” Verstappen simply responded: “Not yet.”

The Red Bull driver quitting F1 at 31 would make him younger than many of his fellow world champions. Vettel will start his last race today aged 35 while Lewis Hamilton has admitted he wants to sign a new multi-year deal despite being 37. 

But, Nico Rosberg walked away after securing his first title aged 30 in 2016.

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