Christian Horner and Stefano Domenicali are not too worried about Max Verstappen’s F1 future and his said quit talks.
With F1 trying new formats and ways to entice the new age fans, it has definitely caused for mixed reactions from the drivers and teams. Among other changes, the major one is the addition of sprint races which now will take place at six events than the three.
Not just that, the sprint weekends is now with two qualifying sessions, one on Friday evening for the Sunday’s race and one on Saturday morning for the evening’s sprint race. Such ‘gimmicks’ has got stern reactions especially from Red Bull’s Verstappen.
While the Dutchman will not leave F1 without finishing off his current contract which runs out only in 2028, but Verstappen is open to note that he doesn’t like these changes and feels the traditional weekends to be the DNA of the sport.
His team boss Horner, though, is not worried about his statement. “Well, thankfully, his contract has many years to run on it, so we don’t see that as an imminent risk,” he said. “But, you know, of course, he has an opinion on it and he’ll always speak openly on it and voice his opinion. And I think that it’s so hard to look too far down the road.
“Did Fernando Alonso think he’d be racing at 42? Probably not. I mean, Lewis Hamilton is in his latter 30s. So the future is just so difficult to predict. But I think it’s great that drivers do have opinions and they don’t just become stereotypes,” summed up Horner.
In fact, the F1 chief Domenicali too isn’t too worried about Verstappen’s statement. The Italian spoke to him in Miami about it too. “I discussed the issues with Max before the Miami race,” he said to Daily Mail. He said he loved the sport and what he was doing.
“He is the World Champion and is fighting for a third title – he was born in a car and I would say he is likely to stay longer in F1 than me. It’s not a problem,” summed up Domencali, while adding that the drivers should look at the broader picture and walk out of their comfort zone.
“I don’t want a society in which people cannot say what they want,” he said. “But drivers sometimes need to remember that they are part of a broader picture. We don’t need to be selfish. They are part of this sport and this business, and it grows because we are thinking bigger.
“Sometimes being out of our comfort zone is not easy, but we cannot get lazy or complacent – we can review some of the specifics of the sprint weekend format at the end of the season once we have tried it out on the intended six occasions. We won’t have sprints every weekend, either. But we have a new audience and need to provide value for money [in] every session, and not let everyone drive around in circles for the sole benefit of the engineers and drivers.”
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