‘No matter how much you offer him he won’t stay’: Max Verstappen could QUIT F1 ‘sooner than we all think’, insists Red Bull chief Helmut Marko… pouring doubt on the world champion driving ‘until he has broken all record’
- Success could force Max Verstappen into early retirement, claims Helmut Marko
- The reigning world champion is on course to claim his second crown this year
- Marko feels Verstappen could end up with little left to fight for in Formula One
- The Red Bull driver is set to become F1’s youngest ever double world champion
Max Verstappen could quit Formula One ‘sooner than we think’, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has claimed.
The Dutch driver clinched his first world championship last December and is on course for a second title this season, sitting atop the driver’s standings with a 109-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ahead of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Should the 24-year-old go on to achieve the feat again as expected, he would become F1’s youngest ever double world champion.
Max Verstappen could retire from Formula One ‘sooner than we think’, insists Helmut Marko
But Marko has hinted that record-breaking success could in fact result in Verstappen choosing to retire from the sport for good, as he would have little left to fight for at an early age.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who lost the title to the Red Bull star in controversial fashion last season, was aged 29 when he claimed his second crown – five years older than Verstappen will be if he holds on to his lead at the summit .
Aware of his driver’s mentality and outlook on life, Marko is confident that Verstappen will one day move on to new challenges beyond F1, should he achieve all there is to conquer on the track.
Marko – pictured here with Verstappen – feels success may tempt the driver into retirement
The Dutch driver, 24, is set to become Formula One’s youngest ever double world champion
‘We want to win more titles together,’ he told Sport1 via the Sun.
‘But I doubt if we will see Max drive until he has broken all records.
‘He could make it, but he’s also the type of person who packs his things and leaves when he no longer feels like it.
‘No matter how much you offer him, he won’t stay. And that could happen sooner than we all think.’
Verstappen’s thoughts this weekend though will be taken another step closer to the title with victory at Monza.
Verstappen had qualified in second at Monza behind pole sitter Charles Leclerc (center)
The Dutchman was pipped to pole position by nearest title rival Charles Leclerc who will be desperate to give the home ‘tifosi’ something to cheer when he lines up on the front row in his Ferrari alongside Mercedes’ rising British star George Russell.
Nine drivers have taken penalties at the legendary Monza circuit, with Verstappen being one of them as he hopes to make ground from seventh on the grid.
His title rival from last year Lewis Hamilton has also suffered misfortune and as another driver penalized by a grid penalty for component changes will start from the back of the grid.