Home/F1

via Imago

How would you define success in Formula 1? How many championships does it take for a driver to believe they have achieved success? One might say that since 7 championships is the standard set by Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, it should be the benchmark, that’s what the drivers should be aiming for. Hamilton himself is chasing the ultimate glory of winning his 8th championship. However, there’s one driver who approaches this question differently: Max Verstappen, the current triple world champion.

The Red Bull man has said it many times in the past–his life doesn’t revolve around Formula 1. He has even criticized the sport for the direction in which it is headed, particularly regarding the expanding calendar and the push for more sustainable technologies. He’s more old-school that way. And despite being only 26 years old, these factors have led Verstappen to think about an early retirement from the sport he loves.

Max Verstappen doesn’t want to be remembered for how many championships he won

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Unlike some of his counterparts, Max Verstappen doesn’t place much importance on the number of championships he has under his belt. He recently expressed that winning multiple titles or trying to surpass Michael Schumacher doesn’t hold much significance for him. The quality of life he lives matters more for the Dutchman.

“I am already very happy with what I have achieved in Formula 1. I don’t have to stay for the performance. I have already achieved more than I could ever have dreamed of,” Verstappen told Motorsport. When asked about chasing 7 or 8 titles, Verstappen gave a pragmatic response. He said, Once you stop racing, then it no longer matters whether you have become world champion three times, five times, or seven times. It does not matter how I live my life. It is also not important to me that I am remembered as someone who has become world champion at least three times.

Moreover, Verstappen has expressed interest in exploring other racing categories, such as endurance racing. He wants to compete in prestigious events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Dutchman is also a big fan of sim racing, viewing it as more than just a hobby. So he already has a lot of interest outside of Formula 1 that would excite him if he were to quit early.

READ MORE: “Fashion Is an Option”: Max Verstappen’s Post F1 Retirement Plans Revealed by CEO of His Personal Brand

While Verstappen has often hinted about an early retirement, there’s one condition on which he could extend his career in Formula 1.

Verstappen is not impressed with the ever-expanding F1 calendar

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

One of Verstappen’s major concerns with the sport stems from Formula 1’s expansion of its race calendar, particularly targeting markets in the Middle East and America. The recent inclusion of races in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Miami, and Las Vegas has brought the total number of races in the 2024 season to 24, alongside additional Sprint races and Sprint Shootout sessions.

With an increasing number of races being added each year, Verstappen has voiced his concern, suggesting that the rising number of races could lead to shorter careers for drivers. However, Verstappen suggested that he’d consider staying longer in Formula 1 if the number of races decreases, a condition that may not sit well with Formula 1 and Liberty Media. “At a certain point, I think you’re just done with it a bit. The racing itself is fun, but everything around it with the traveling and with the marketing days. At some point, it eats at you. Then it doesn’t matter what you earn,” said Verstappen.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

While some drivers chase records and accolades, Verstappen prioritizes his happiness and fulfillment both on and off the track.

Written by

Veerendra Vikram Singh

918Articles

One take at a time

Veerendra Singh is a Motorsport writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in F1 coverage. Having followed the sport for more than 12 years, Veerendra excels in covering trend-setting articles and has covered Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, and Charles Leclerc extensively during the 2023 F1 season. His Dale Earnhardt Jr post regarding the North Wilkesboro Speedway was shared by Save The Speedway Twitter account.
Show More>

Edited by

Akash Pandhare