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Break away

2 weeks ago

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Karun Chandhok | Racing driver


5 June 2024

A couple of weeks ago I appeared to create a spot of social media chaos by suggesting that Max Verstappen could take a year away from F1. The controversial start to Red Bull’s season, very much an ongoing case between the complainant and Christian Horner, seems to have riled Max’s dad Jos Verstappen, de-stabilising the harmony between the Verstappen camp and Horner. This has led to plenty of speculation around Max’s future with the team.

Even before this intrigue, the 2025 driver market was looking unusual to put it mildly. We have one driver signed into his mid 40s, another starting at Ferrari as a 40-year-old and a 17-year-old hotshot in line for a top seat without so much as a full season of F3 or F2 under his belt. While I don’t know whether Max will leave Red Bull for another team, he’s been open about his ambition to try other forms of the sport and not being around F1 forever. It is racing and driving he loves and it doesn’t have to be in F1.

Clearly Max is performing at an incredible level and is young enough to take a break and come back strong if he wanted to. He’s been at kart tracks and travelling the world relentlessly ever since he was four years old and achieved his life’s ambition of becoming F1 World Champion back in 2021 at the tender age of just 24. By the end of this year he’ll probably be a quadruple World Champion, and I wonder if he’s looking for a new challenge to re-discover his mojo and come back reinvigorated.

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