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Max Verstappen threatens to quit Formula One

Dominic Smithers

| Last updated 

Max Verstappen threatens to quit Formula One

Max Verstappen has warned that he could quit Formula One if bosses continue to mess around with its 'DNA'.

The driver is currently sat at the top of the driver's championship, just one point ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez.

However, ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, the world champion said that he is unhappy with the way the sport seems to be going.

It comes as proposals were mooted to change the traditional three-day race format.


Currently, the race weekend starts on Friday with two practice sessions, both running for an hour each.

Then, after a third free practice round on Saturday morning, the afternoon is made up of three qualifying rounds, which last 18 minutes, 15 minutes and 12 minutes, respectively.

Max Verstappen isn't happy with proposed changes to F1. Credit: Xinhua/Alamy
Max Verstappen isn't happy with proposed changes to F1. Credit: Xinhua/Alamy

The five slowest drivers are disqualified in the first round, with a further five kicked out in the second session, which set the grid places for positions 11 to 20.


The third and final round sees the top 10 places on the grid set, and then it's Sunday, which is race day.

However, Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali was said to be keen on improving the level of competition for fans.

It is also claimed that he wants to reduce the practice sessions, instead increasing the number of sprint races which take place in each session, of which there are currently six.

While the proposals have been put on the back-burner, they haven't gone down well with one of F1's stars, who says it could be a dealbreaker for him.


"I hope there won’t be too many changes, otherwise I won’t be around for too long," said Verstappen.

"I am not a fan of it at all. When we do all that kind of stuff, the weekend becomes very intense and we already do a lot of races.

"I understand they want to make every day exciting but they should reduce the weekend, and only qualify and race on Saturday and Sunday and make those two days exciting.

"We are heading into seasons where we could have 24 or 25 races and if you then start adding more it is not worth it for me. I will not enjoy that."

F1 bosses are said to be considering plans to reduce the number of practice sessions. Credit: James Moy/Alamy
F1 bosses are said to be considering plans to reduce the number of practice sessions. Credit: James Moy/Alamy

He went on: "A sprint race is all about surviving and not racing. It’s not worth taking a risk when you have a quick car. I prefer to keep my car alive to make sure I have a good race car for Sunday.

"Even if you change the format, I don’t find it is in the DNA of Formula One to do these kind of sprint races.

"F1 is about getting the most out of it in qualifying and have an amazing Sunday over a long race distance.


"The action has been good and how do you get even more of it? Getting the cars closer, and having more teams fighting for wins – six or seven of them. That would be insane and then you wouldn’t need to change anything."

Following the backlash, Domenicali came out and said that he has no plans to drastically alter the race weekend.

He said: "I was just focusing on the fact that I was enjoying these sprint races - I didn't say anything new. Of course, there needs to be the time for practice."

Though he admitted that it would be 'wrong' not to consider changes.

He added: "We have to consider that we are just at the start of an incredible period for the sport, and it's really very strong.

"It's not because we don't respect the traditions, we respect the old way of thinking of our weekend, but it would be wrong not to think about it."

Featured Image Credit: PETERSON Mark/ATP/SPP/Shutterstock/JOEL CARRETT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Topics: Sport, Formula 1

Dominic Smithers
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