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Russell believes Verstappen retirement threat a 'tactic'

The Mercedes driver believes Max Verstappen's retirement talk is all a 'tactic' to get more money from his current contract situation.

George Russell believes Max Verstappen's retirement talk is all a "tactic" for the Dutchman to extract more money from his contract. Verstappen recently hit out at F1 for unveiling a 24-race calendar for 2024, saying that it was "too many for me" and that the expansion along with increased commitments is "not helping" his cause to stay beyond 2028. When asked about Verstappen's comments along with the number of races affecting drivers by media, including RacingNews365.com , Russell joked: "I think he's whinging because he wants more money! "He's the highest paid driver on this grid - and rightly so for what he's achieved - but I think it's all a big tactic, this threat of retirement and whatnot. "I hope he doesn't [leave] and he stays for as long as I stay, because I want to fight against the best drivers in the world."

Russell: Can't just add more commitments

The 2023 F1 calendar was already set to be one of the longest in the history of the championship, before the Chinese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix were cancelled. Fernando Alonso has also voiced his concerns on the stress it puts mechanics and team personnel under . Russell thinks that F1 should look at finding a balance between reducing the commitments for drivers and teams as they add races to the calendar. He added: "It is challenging, we can't just keep adding more commitments, more races, more, more, more... There's got to be a point where if you're adding [races], something got to be taken off. "I know for myself at the moment, we're just adding more races. We're not having, let's say, less commitment so you work in overtime. I'm confident and pretty sure that's the case at Red Bull as well. "If we didn't have any other commitments, we'd be happy to race every weekend."

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