Max Verstappen, who finished up his stellar 2022 campaign with one more victory, acknowledged he might give up Formula One when his deal with Red Bull expires.
The Red Bull star had already won his second consecutive world championship after cruising to victory in 2022 signaling the beginning of what might turn out to be a genuinely thrilling period for the 25-year-old.
The reigning F1 champion came up for his post-race interview after easily winning the race at the Yas Marina Circuit, but he wasn’t the most well-liked person on the circuit.
The fact that Verstappen appeared to be the fastest competitor all weekend did not surprise anyone when he won at the Yas Marina Circuit. However, as he approached the microphone for his post-race interview, he was undoubtedly not the most well-liked.
Fans appeared to be torn between cheering and criticizing him when he received the microphone from interviewer Jenson Button. However, despite that cold reaction, he appeared unaffected as he answered questions without making any mention of those jeers.
“It was a good race, all about tyre management,” Verstappen said. “I think we looked after the mediums quite well, and then on the hard tyres, it was about managing from lap one to the end.. but it was incredible to win here again, and 15 wins in the season is unbelievable.”
“It’s been really enjoyable to work with the whole team to achieve something like this this year.”
“I know it’s going to be hard to replicate something like this, but it’s also really good motivation to try to do something again next year.”
Verstappen took the victory away from Hamilton in Abu Dhabi a year ago to win his first championship under the most controversial conditions.
The Dutch driver, however, has been the star of 2022, and his victory here in front of the tens of thousands of lights that illuminate the Yas Marina Circuit was his 15th from 22 starts.
Verstappen has six more years with Red Bull under a lucrative contract that lasts until 2028, but he has acknowledged that he will need to think about his options after that.
“I don’t know if after 2028 I will still be in F1, it surely depends on how competitive we are,” Verstappen said. “F1 is very tough and there is a lot of travel, at some point you have to ask yourself what is more important, F1 or your family.”
The Dutch driver, who triumphed in the Driver’s Championship, came under fire for disobeying team orders to return to sixth place for Sergio Perez on the last lap of last week’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
In the season’s last race, Perez came in third, trailing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Verstappen could have ensured a one-two finish for Red Bull had he offered his teammate that place.