Max Verstappen unsure about long-term F1 future due to 'demanding' calendar

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Max Verstappen is unsure about his long-term future in Formula 1 due to the "very demanding" calendar.

The newly crowned double world champion signed a contract extension with Red Bull until the end of 2028 after claiming his maiden title at the end of last year.

When that expires, Verstappen will have completed 14 seasons after debuting aged just 17 at Toro Rosso in 2015.

And while that is someway off the 19 seasons Fernando Alonso - now F1's most experienced driver - has done so far, the Dutchman admits the ever-growing number of Grands Prix per year is a concern for him.

“It’s not about the number of championships or whatever, it’s also a quality of life," he told UK broadcaster Channel 4 on his considerations for the future.

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“We are going to more races. I have a contract until 2028, I’ll be 31, so I do think about if we are heading in this direction with more and more races, do I really want to continue this until I’m like 35? Probably not.

"There’s so many more fun things as well I want to do outside of Formula 1," he added, "I don’t want to be travelling almost my whole year being away from family and friends.

“So I see myself doing this for a few more years, and of course definitely till the end of the contract. But then I’ll definitely make my mind up if I really want to continue to live this lifestyle because it’s very demanding.

“I like to be at home, I really love being at home, and being away so much it’s sometimes a bit painful.”

Another question often asked about Verstappen's future is whether will he remain at Red Bull until he retires or if he would consider moving elsewhere.

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And another two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen predicts F1 will see Max is different colours before he hangs up his helmet.

“It’s great Max is committed and signs long contracts. It shows he trusts them,” the Finn said in a video for Unibet. 

“But there is always that risk when key people leave, the car performance doesn’t match expectations, that’s when the driver starts to think, whether it’s time to change teams.

“I don’t think Max is going to stay with Red Bull for the rest of his career. But this is just my opinion.

“Historically, drivers have switched teams – despite having multiple championships – for different reasons, whether it’s money or just wanting to go somewhere else.”