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Verstappen: 24 GPs per season too many for me

max verstappen Verstappen: 24 GPs per season too many for me

Soon-to-be triple Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen cast further doubt on how long he’ll stay in the sport, bemoaning the expansion of the calendar to a record 24 races was “definitely not helping.”

The 25-year-old Dutch driver’s Mercedes rival George Russell laughed that off, however, suggesting the threat of retirement might be just part a negotiating position for an even more lucrative contract.

F1 published a 24-race calendar for 2024 on Wednesday running from early March to December and ending with two triple-headers — three races on successive weekends.

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“It is too many for me, but we just have to deal with it,” Verstappen told reporters on Thursday ahead of the British Grand Prix where he is chasing a record-equalling 11th win in a row for his team.

“I think it is a bit more logical the way it’s planned at least, I guess that’s better for everyone,” Verstappen said of the distribution of races. “More things have to come together for me to make my mind up if I stay longer or not.”

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“All these things are definitely not helping, for sure,” added Verstappen who has also criticised the sprint format and F1 engine regulations for 2026.

The Dutch ace, who has a contract to the end of 2028 with RBRand has already started 172 grands prix since his 2015 debut, has an 81-point lead over Mexican teammate Sergio Perez in the championship after nine races. He has won seven including the last five.

Russell, the last non-Red Bull driver to win a race with victory in Brazil last November, joked that Verstappen was “whinging because he wants more money.

The Mercedes driver added: “He is the highest paid on this grid and rightly so for what he is achieving but I think it is all a big tactic, his threat of retirement I hope he doesn’t. I hope he stays for as long as I stay because I want to fight against the best drivers in the world.”

Verstappen is reportedly on an annual salary said to be worth $55-million with Red Bull, a tidy sum for a 25-year-old who is said to be worth, by various authoritative sites, $210-million at this stage of his career on the top flight. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)

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