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Max Verstappen: Red Bull driver explains doubts over his future in Formula 1 beyond 2028

Max Verstappen has repeatedly expressed doubt over whether he will remain in F1 when his Red Bull contract expires in 2028; in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports F1's Naomi Schiff, Verstappen explained the key factors dictating his mindset 

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Naomi Schiff and Max Verstappen sit down at the Red Bull Energy Station to reflect on racing, Monaco and his motivation to try other events after Formula 1

Max Verstappen says a lack of motivation could see him quit Formula 1 when his Red Bull contract expires in 2028, but admits having the fastest car on the grid could convince him to continue. 

Victory at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday kept Verstappen on course for a third successive drivers' crown, while Red Bull's dominance looks set to ensure the Dutchman remains in contention for titles at least until new regulations are introduced in 2026.

Amid his frustration at the sport's growing calendar and changes to the format - and increasing number - of Sprint weekends, in April Verstappen questioned whether being an F1 driver was actually "a good life".

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports F1's Naomi Schiff in Monaco, he provided further insight to his mindset.

"I love racing otherwise I wouldn't be on the simulator at home doing other kinds, but that's the thing, I also like doing other kinds of racing, not only Formula 1," said Verstappen, who is now in his ninth season in F1 having become the sport's youngest driver when making his debut aged 17 in 2015.

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Highlights of the Monaco Grand Prix at the sixth race of the season

"I know that I will be 31 when it's the end of my contract. At that point already I will have been in F1 a very long time and it's a lot of work. It's travelling a lot, not only the races but in between you're travelling to the factory, you have marketing commitments and I'm really a person who loves to be at home.

"I like to be competitive, and I like to win but if you can't fully motivate yourself to get to every race, then that's the point you have to question yourself, 'do you really want to continue?'"

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Verstappen says another factor that creates doubt over his F1 future is his desire to be able to compete at events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race while still in peak physical condition.

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen was pleased after securing his 39th victory in a rain-affected Monaco Grand Prix

"I love doing Le Mans, I love doing other 24-hour races, I love watching the GT3 cars go around the Nordschleife.

"All these kind of things I want to experience in my life and I don't want to be doing them when I'm 40 or 50 because then I'm not at the peak of my performance. When I'm 31, I'm pretty sure I'm still capable of doing great things."

'Hard to leave a dominant car'

Verstappen's Red Bull team have dominated since the introduction of new design regulations at the start of 2022, and the Dutchman's relentless brilliance has led some to speculate he could threaten the record of seven F1 titles held by Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

While Verstappen has previously insisted that records do not motivate him, he has admitted the strength of Red Bull's car come 2028 could be a crucial factor in deciding his future.

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Max Verstappen claims his fourth win of 2023 and his 39th win for Red Bull - surpassing Sebastian Vettel's record number of wins for the team

"It also depends a bit how competitive we're going to be over here in 2028," he said.

Asked what he would do if Red Bull were dominating, Verstappen added: "I think it would be very hard to leave, for sure."

Following speculation linking Mercedes' Hamilton with a blockbuster move to Ferrari, Verstappen says he would only consider leaving Red Bull if there was a seat in a faster car available.

"People always ask me if I have a dream team," he said. "I know Ferrari has an amazing history in Formula 1 and is an amazing team to race for, but I always said to myself I just want to be in the fastest car.

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Max Verstappen steals pole position from Fernando Alonso with a stunning final sector in a thrilling final qualifying session at the Monaco Grand Prix

"I had to wait a few years to be in the fastest car and now we do have the fastest car and that is a great feeling.

"At this stage, if it happens, it happens but I'm very happy where I am and for me personally, the desire of having to drive for one particular team at all costs, no.

"[It] depends how things are going here but at the moment I'm super happy, no discussion, but some people might be in different scenarios and there is a possibility, I don't know."

Will Red Bull's winning run in F1 2023 continue at the Spanish GP? Watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 from June 2-4 Get Sky Sports

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