Verstappen talks about future in Formula 1

Red Bull and Max Verstappen have been the measure of all things at the pinnacle of motorsport since the 2022 Formula 1 season. With the Bulls’ current dominance, it’s easy to forget that things were very different during Verstappen’s early days in Milton Keynes.

The Dutchman won his first race for Red Bull in Barcelona in 2016. However, in his first five seasons until the end of 2020, he “only” took ten victories. By comparison, in 2023 he stood on the top step of the podium 15 times in just one season.

Verstappen’s “problem” at that time was above all the dominant Mercedes team, which won all the world championship titles for seven years in a row between 2014 and 2020. So the question inevitably arises whether Verstappen ever had any doubts about Red Bull during that time?

“No doubts, but you have to be patient,” the now two-time world champion himself explains, “I’ve learned a lot of patience over the years. But I always believed in the project because I saw how people worked and how motivated they were to get back to the top.”

Still, it was “a process” that “you couldn’t force”, the Dutchman explains. Especially his first years at Red Bull, when they were still competing with Renault engines, were difficult, the now 25-year-old recalls.

“Sometimes we had a pretty decent package, but then we lacked some top speed. That made it very difficult to show the true potential,” Verstappen explains. In 2019, the Bulls therefore decided to make a fresh start with Honda.



Verstappen tied to Red Bull for the long term

Of course, that also took some time, “but after one year we were already very competitive,” Verstappen recalls and explains with regard to the overall situation: “At some point it just clicked from one year to the next.”

“Afterwards it’s easy to say, ‘I saw it coming, blah, blah, blah’. You don’t know, but I trusted our process because I felt we were moving towards something,” explains Verstappen, who could challenge for the world title for the first time in 2021 in his sixth Red Bull year.


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Asked if it’s easy to stay patient for so long, he answers honestly: “No, it’s not. But sometimes you have to be.”

That Verstappen has no doubts about Red Bull is shown by the fact that last year he signed a contract until the end of 2028.

If he fulfils it, he will therefore drive for the Bulls for at least five more years after the 2023 season. He is still “undecided” about what will happen after that. “But I am in no hurry. There are still many years ahead of us, so I’m not thinking too much about it,” he explains.


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Verstappen sees future in Formula 1

Most recently, Verstappen himself had fuelled speculation about retirement after his current contract expired, for example when he publicly stated, “If we keep expanding the calendar […] then at some point you ask yourself: is it still worth it?”

At the moment, however, he is simply enjoying the success he is currently having with Red Bull, he stresses, explaining:

“Of course I hope we are still competitive for a long time, but also that the people who work in the team stay with it for a long time.”

“Because I really enjoy working with them. So I hope we can do that for a few more years,” Verstappen said. And with the current successes, that should also be much easier for him than it was in some cases in the past.

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