Current world champion, Max Verstappen, has threatened to quit under the circumstances that too many races are added to the calendar and racing formats are changed too significantly. He highlighted his displeasure in an interview before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Former World Champion commented that Verstappen should just “stop now” after what he said were “strange” comments in his interview. He thinks that Verstappen simply doesn’t enjoy the sport but that makes no sense.
Verstappen was asked what he does to unwind between races in an interview with David Coulthard and he replied that he enjoys sim racing on his simulator, “More driving?” Coulthard responded, clearly astonished by his comment. It’s clear that the dutchman has always been obsessed with racing and always will be, losing interest is definitely not the issue with him.
Hill’s remarks come after Verstappen suggested that he could retire from the sport if the people in charge make “dramatic” changed to the race format. He has staunchly opposed any major changes to the race format and suggested that he’d take a step towards retiring if major changes were made.
He thinks that Verstappen sounded like somebody who is gradually losing interest in competing. Hill said this in a Sky Sport podcast:
“Max’s retirement threat is very unusual. It is kind of strange to hear, isn’t it? I mean, what’s he gonna do with himself?”-Damon Hill, 1996 F1 World Champion
In my opinion, Hill kind of loses touch with reality here; there are plenty of competitions that he could dip his toes into from Indycar to even something as simple as Supercar racing. If he doesn’t enjoy the racing and the lack of freedom, why would he stay?
Max Verstappen has won two championships, made millions, and become a household name; all the drivers dream of doing what he has done. He has nothing to prove, no race weekend will really add to his legacy, nor will a sprint race.
Damon Hill also said this on the sky sports podcast :
“He should stop now, really. Stop now – he’s done it! You mentioned fun – I think that’s a very important point. Is he having fun, because I sometimes think he’s not having fun. I think you have to love what you’re doing, otherwise it’s a grind.”-Damon Hill
Interviewed in Albert Park after the race weekend, Verstappen expressed his hopes that there wouldn’t be too many changes to race weekends. He said that any widespread would mean he “wouldn’t stick around too long”, in a comment that looks like a retirement threat.
The double world champion even commented that he’s not a fan of the expanded race calendar. Although good for attracting more corporate attention and money, it’s taxing on the drivers as they’re traveling practically all year long. He says this:
“We’re heading into seasons where you have at one point 24, 25 races, because that’s where we’re going to head into and if we start adding even more stuff, it’s not worth it for me anyway. I’m not enjoying that.
“And for me, a sprint race is all about surviving. It’s not about racing. For me, when you have a quick car, there’s nothing to risk.”-Max Verstappen, Two time F1 World Champion