This week saw the release of the 2024 Formula 1 calendar, which is set to include a record-breaking number of events. This decision has become a talking point in the lead-up to the British Grand Prix.
Verstappen stated that, in his view, 24 races are “too many”, but conceded that “we just have to deal with it”.
Previously in Australia in April, the Dutch racer had expressed discontent over recent changes to the F1 sprint race weekend format, favoring full-length Grand Prix races. Some interpreted these remarks as an indication that he might consider retiring.
When queried about his seeming dissatisfaction with multiple aspects of current F1, and whether he is indeed contemplating retirement after his Red Bull contract concludes at the end of 2028, Verstappen responded, “It’s more things that have to come together for me to make my mind up if I stay longer or not. But yeah, all these things are definitely not helping.”
Regarding the expanded F1 calendar and Verstappen’s response to it, Russell stated, by contrast, that he’s doing what he loves and generally feels ‘the more the merrier’.
When probed about the specific motive behind Verstappen’s comments, Russell, while smiling, suggested, “I think he’s complaining because he wants more money!”
Russell further stated that Verstappen, as the Red Bull driver, is “the highest paid on this grid and rightly so for what he’s achieving”.
“But I think it’s all a big strategy of his – the threat of retirement and the like,” Russell continued. “I hope he doesn’t retire, and I hope he remains for as long as I do – because I want to compete against the world’s best drivers.
“Currently, I’m competing directly with Lewis [Hamilton, his Mercedes team-mate], and I would love the opportunity to do that with Max, as well as with Charles [Leclerc] and Lando [Norris].
“Presently, our sport is in a great place.
“However, it is challenging – we cannot continually add more responsibilities, more races. There’s a limit. If you’re adding something, something else must be subtracted.
“Right now, we’re just adding more races, not reducing commitments.
“So, you’re working extra hours, and I’m confident and pretty sure that’s the case at Red Bull as well.
“If we [drivers] didn’t have other obligations, I’m sure we’d be thrilled to race every weekend.”
Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Verstappen’s 2024 F1 Calendar Criticism
What are Max Verstappen’s views on the 2024 F1 calendar?
Verstappen believes that the 24 races planned for the 2024 Formula 1 calendar are “too many”, however, he admits that they just have to deal with it. He has also shown dissatisfaction with the recent changes to F1’s sprint race weekend format, favoring full-length Grand Prix races.
How does George Russell interpret Verstappen’s criticisms?
Russell, while acknowledging Verstappen’s issues, counters that he’s enjoying his career and generally feels ‘the more the merrier’ with regards to the increased number of races. He suggests Verstappen’s complaints could be financially motivated, as the Red Bull driver is already the highest paid on the grid.
Is Verstappen considering quitting F1 after his Red Bull contract ends?
When questioned about this, Verstappen stated that several factors need to align for him to decide if he will stay longer or not. He expressed that the recent changes and additional commitments are not helping him make a decision in favor of staying.
What is Russell’s outlook on the sport and its future?
Russell sees the sport as being in a great place at the moment but acknowledges that continually adding more responsibilities and races is challenging. He suggests there should be a balance—if something is added, something else should be subtracted.