Horner doesn't see Verstappen 'being a Fernando Alonso'


Christian Horner doesn't know how long Max Verstappen will remain in F1, but the Red Bull team boss doesn't see the Dutchman racing into his forties like Fernando Alonso.

Verstappen's enjoyed a mercurial trajectory to the pinnacle of motorsport, beginning his career in F1 in 2015 at the record age of 17, and becoming at 18 the youngest driver ever to win a Grand Prix, a feat achieved at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016.

Verstappen's burning desire to compete and his insatiable hunger for success have already delivered two world championships to the 25-year-old and to his employer.

But just how long his inner flame will continue to burn is anybody's guess, although Horner suggests his driver won't unduly prolong his presence on the grid in F1.

"Max is his own man, and he is very strong in his opinions and his outlook on what he wants to do with his life," Horner told Sky Sports earlier this month.

"I don’t see him being a Fernando Alonso and still racing at 41 or 42 years of age, or maybe not in Formula 1.

"But what his love and passion is, is racing, and if he is not racing on track at the moment, he is driving in the virtual world.

"He is driving GT cars for fun, and his passion is just driving and racing, and while that burns within him, he is going to keep going.

"But how long that burns for? It’s each individual’s own journey [and] they’ve got to find that out for themselves."

Verstappen himself has hinted at leaving the high-octane world of F1 once his current contract with Red Bull expires in 2028, especially as he is not fixated on records or statistics.

"Yes, I am seriously thinking about it," Verstappen said recently.

"I know I’m very lucky to drive a Formula 1 car. I can do what I want, but at some point it doesn’t matter. I already have a lot of plans for what I want to do."

But whatever those plans involve, they will likely be guided by the Dutchman's number one priority at that point: quality of life.

"It’s also about quality of life. There are other things in life besides Formula 1. I have a contract until 2028 and after that I’ll see.

"I don’t want to spend my best years physically just in Formula 1. With the races multiplying, 23 or 24 a year is far too many."

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