Max Verstappen has said he is “already happy” with his Formula 1 career, and is “not interested” in chasing after the seven World Championships held by Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
The Red Bull driver has won the past two titles, the second of which in record-breaking fashion after 15 victories in the 2022 season, and is hot favourite to repeat his success this year with a car that is the class of the field, on the evidence of the early races this year.
But Verstappen has been open in the past about his desires to not be in Formula 1 later in life, team boss Christian Horner having explained he does not expect the Dutchman to follow Fernando Alonso’s example and race beyond the age of 40.
His first title success brought with it a mega contract extension with Red Bull that guarantees his future in Formula 1 until at least the end of the 2028 season, but Verstappen is choosing to not look too far beyond that.
He could already have broken plenty of records in his own right by the time his current contract runs out, but the 25-year-old is not purposely setting out to do so.
When asked if becoming a record-breaker motivates him, Verstappen responded, as per Formula1.com: “No. I’m not interested in winning seven or eight titles. If you have the car to do so, then great. But even if it doesn’t [happen], I’m happy – I’m already happy, so it’s OK!”
Verstappen has spoken on several occasions about taking stock of his Formula 1 future when his contract comes to a close at the end of 2028, at which time he will in theory still be at the peak of his powers
But with ambitions beyond Formula 1, such as endurance racing with father and ex-F1 driver Jos, Verstappen is taking a wider view about his time in the sport, and while he confirmed his commitment for the length of his contract, he will not say what he is doing beyond that just yet.
It’s difficult to say when you’ve never had a break, right? I will always be on the grid until the end of 2028,” he said when asked if taking a sabbatical might interest him.
“I’m still very young, but I always said that I also want to do other kinds of competitions, a bit like what Fernando did.
“But also, when you have been, let’s say, winning a lot, or at least driving at the front, it needs to be also worth it to come back because, if you then come back and you don’t really have a chance of winning, it’s probably even harder to motivate yourself day in, day out, to travel all over the world and not spend time with family, friends and doing other things.”