- There are too many ifs and buts for Max Verstappen
- He won a second F1 championship in a row
- However, there’s speculation that he could leave the team
There are too many ifs and buts for Max Verstappen to spend his entire career with Red Bull, according to Mika Hakkinen.
The Dutchman’s legacy was further solidified last week in Japan, when he won his second F1 world championship in a row.
Verstappen, who will soon turn 25, will look to add more titles to his résumé before calling it quits. The first eight years of his Formula One career were spent on the books of Red Bull, first with Toro Rosso and then with the parent team.
It was believed that Verstappen was considering leaving the Red Bull team when they were still having trouble developing a car that could compete with Mercedes. Just a few months after claiming his first world championship, Verstappen signed a six-year contract with Red Bull.
By the end of his new contract in 2028, Verstappen will be 31 years old. However, he has in the past made it clear that he has no intention of leaving the Red Bull team before he retires.
This is highly unusual, as most Formula One drivers end up racing for multiple teams during their careers. Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher’s success after leaving McLaren and Benetton, respectively, is indisputable.
Hakkinen has outlined all the reasons in his mind why he thinks it’s highly improbable that Verstappen would break that pattern before his career finishes. The F1 commentator in his Unibet video column, added, that people are becoming older and that can be another reason to move from Red Bull.
“I don’t think Max Verstappen will stay with Red Bull for the rest of his career. That’s just my opinion. But historically, drivers have often switched teams for various reasons, even if they had multiple titles with one specific team. That could be financial reasons, or simply because they were ready for a new environment,” says Hakkinem.
He says that though Verstappen has committed to such a long-term deal, there’s always the chance that when key personnel leave, the car won’t perform as well as the driver expects.
Meanwhile, Verstappen lifted his second consecutive championship title after a weird and confusing conclusion to the Japanese Grand Prix. Only 29 of the race’s 53 laps went down, leading to a lot of confusion at the finish line as to whether or not full points would be awarded.
Most of the F1 pit crew thought Verstappen would only get 19 points for the win since only about half or three-quarters of the laps had been completed. However, the rules for the Japanese Grand Prix were interpreted differently, and the lowered points were only imposed in the event of a race suspension and couldn’t be restarted.
Initially, Verstappen appeared perplexed when the celebrations began and then paused, but it was later verified that full points had been granted, ensuring the 25-year-victory old’s with four races remaining in the season.
He described the win as unbelievable adding that his first win in 2021 was emotional but his second is more beautiful. Verstappen described his year as amazing and beyond his wildest dreams.