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Max Verstappen

Verstappen clarifies Formula 1 quit threat

Two-time World Champion Max Verstappen had apparently threatened to leave F1 if the pattern of changing the formula continued.

Max Verstappen has clarified his apparent threat to quit F1 after changes to the sport's Sprint format were confirmed.

Drivers will face a single practice session before qualifying on Friday, which will now set the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix. Saturday is in effect a standalone Sprint day, with a second qualifying session used to determine the line-up for the 100km race, with the changes coming in time for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Verstappen had seemingly threatened to leave F1 should tweaks keep being made but has moved to clear up any misconceptions surrounding his remarks.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, two-time champion Verstappen explained: "I always said that even if there wouldn't be any more Sprints, if we keep expanding the calendar and the whole weekend is that long, at one point you question 'is it worth it?'

"I do like racing, I like winning, I know the salary... you have a good life. But is it actually a good life? Sometimes, you get to the point of your career where you want to do other stuff.

"I am contracted to the end of 2028 and then we will review again. I do feel that if it is getting too much then it is time for a change.

"You always have to be talking to yourself, looking at yourself - 'are you still motivated?' and at the moment that is definitely the case but there will for sure be a point where you want to do other stuff as well.

"Sometimes, this sounds very weird for people on the outside... 'you're in Formula 1, you are winning' - I would have probably said the same when I was in their position but when you are in it, it is not always how it looks or what people think.

"Yes, it is great, it is amazing and you can do a lot of things but there is always a limit to certain things."

Takes the shine away

Reiterating that his comments did not focus solely on the implementation of Sprint races in F1, Verstappen said: "I look at it from a racing point of view, F1 looks at it from a business point of view and of course, I understand the Sprint races they have are a bit more exciting.

"But then I look at it from the racing point of view and normally when you do the Sprint race then lap one is exciting, a few shunts here and there and some damage but throughout the race you get quite a clear picture of what is happening, who is quickest, so you also have a clear view of what will happen the next day.

"That will probably take a bit of the shine away from the main event which I think should all be the special event."

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and its owners, Liberty Media, are attempting to maximise the opportunities presented to them by virtue of the popularity boom in recent years, helped largely by an influx of fans inspired by the sport through Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive.

Pointing to the perspective of different parties when asked if he felt his opinions were respected as World Champion, Verstappen replied: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But sometimes what I think is right, sometimes other people don't agree with.

"What I think as a pure race is right, when you are running a business it is sometimes different. Just a difference in opinion."

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.

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