Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen dropped a bomb before the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Dutchman won his first world title last year and controversially relegated Lewis Hamilton to the drivers’ standings in Abu Dhabi in December. However, Verstappen hinted he could leave the sport when his current Red Bull contract expires in 2028 before finishing third in Monte Carlo over the weekend.
Verstappen was rewarded with a new record deal after his title win, with Red Bull reportedly paying the 24-year-old a whopping £40million-a-year as part of his new deal.
Ahead of Sunday’s race, however, Verstappen admitted he could pull out once that deal expires and told dem Daily mail: “I have no plans to change teams. I am happy here and they are happy with me.
“But I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do after 2028. Maybe I’ll stop. I’ve been in Formula 1 since I was 17. It’s been a long time. I’ve done many seasons in F1.
“I might want to do other things. At 31, I don’t know if I’ve peaked or where the drop in performance might have occurred.”
Verstappen would be 31 and in his 15th year as an F1 driver when his contract expires in 2028, having attended a race weekend for the first time in 2014 aged 17, the youngest person ever to do so .
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He also revealed he is interested in competing in other forms of racing, which several other drivers have done since leaving Formula 1. Other drivers have appeared in both IndyCar and the World Rally Championship, while Verstappen’s father Jos has competed in endurance racing at Le Mans after retiring from Formula One.
The idea of a career in long-distance racing also appeals to his son. Verstappen adds: “I want to do other types of racing – endurance racing, for example. Maybe I’m tired of traveling all the time. Maybe I want a simpler life and just racing in the races I like.
“Whenever there’s an opportunity to win a championship, you want to take it. If I’m stuck in a fight in 2028, it can be stupid to stop suddenly. It’s hard to know.”