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Max Verstappen

Verstappen: 'Better to stop' if not prepared for tough F1 battles

Max Verstappen feels that drivers should not race in F1 if they aren't prepared for an entire season of long battles with rivals.

Verstappen Hamilton crash
To news overview © XPB

World Champion Max Verstappen believes it is "better to stop" racing in Formula 1 if drivers are not prepared for season-long battles.

The Dutchman's first title in 2021 was secured in the middle of a white-hot fight against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, while he retained the crown in crushing fashion during 2022 with a record-breaking 15 wins and 454 points.

In 2023, the season is set to feature 23 Grands Prix plus six Sprint events following news that the Chinese Grand Prix will neither be run or replaced, with both Ferrari and Mercedes lurking behind Red Bull having had respective problems throughout '22.

With as many as six drivers the most likely to be the ones fighting for the title in 2023, Verstappen feels those who aren't up for the demands of a season-long battle should quit.

Verstappen's words of warning

"If you're not prepared [for the battles], then it is better to stop already," Verstappen explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We are all racers and we love racing, and of course it's nice to have a season like I had [in 2021] but it is also nice to have a [dominant] season like I did [in 2022].

"It would be very tough if you have the year I had [in 2021] every single year, but that doesn't really happen in Formula 1, so it should be okay."

Verstappen's closest rival in 2022, Charles Leclerc, echoed the thoughts of the driver to whom he finished runner-up, adding that the recent expanse of the calendar had no impact on him.

"I agree, and I think we are all prepared for longer seasons," said the Monegasque.

"I hope it will be tight. It's always nice to have a fight until the end [of the season], but I am prepared for more races, and hopefully for a longer fight."

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