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Max Verstappen

Schumacher: F1 would still prosper without Verstappen

Max Verstappen has threatened to quit F1 over changes made to the sport's format. But Ralf Schumacher says the series would not be unduly affected by the Dutchman's withdrawal.

Ralf Schumacher says Formula 1 would continue to thrive even if Max Verstappen follows through on his threat to quit the sport.

The reigning World Champion has in recent weeks been vocal in his criticism of the direction F1 is heading in, having stated his opposition to the Sprint weekend format.

Verstappen has also criticised the proposed expansion of the F1 calendar to 25 races, which the sport's powerbrokers seem keen to follow through on.

The Dutchman is contracted to Red Bull until 2028, but says he could walk away from F1 if he feels there are too many additions and revisions to its current format.

Schumacher told Sky Deutschland that he understood Verstappen's displeasure with elements of F1's current state, highlighting several complaints that arose after the number of restart procedures at the Australian Grand Prix.

"I agree with [Verstappen] on that point. It's a huge burden for the driver," said Schumacher, who won six Grands Prix across an F1 career spanning 11 years.

"We saw the consequences in Melbourne when you try to do too many starts."

Schumacher: Verstappen leaving won't kill F1

However, Schumacher added that Verstappen's potential withdrawal from F1 would not affect the sport's growth or the popularity, citing the 2017 departure of long-time F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone as an example of the series continuing to survive and thrive despite the absence of a key figure.

"The past, the present and the future have shown or will show that Formula 1 is much bigger than any one individual," said Schumacher.

"Bernie Ecclestone is also gone and without him Formula 1 wouldn't even exist – and yet now it's more successful than ever.

"So Verstappen should either pack up and leave or just accept it as it is. But I do understand his attitude because there are a lot of risks. But still, he gets paid to do it.

"If he wants to go, then he should go. As much as I love him, it won't kill Formula 1."

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