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Fernando Alonso on Max Verstappen's early retirement

Alonso understands Verstappen's retirement wishes: 'That's what I thought at the time'

17 June at 14:00
Last update 17 June at 14:28
  • Sandy van Wijngaarden

Max Verstappen has repeatedly expressed that Formula 1 is not something he wants to continue until old age. The oldest driver in the field, Fernando Alonso, understands these desires, but thinks from his own experience that the Dutchman might continue longer anyway.

Max Verstappen currently still has a contract at Red Bull Racing until 2028. Whether he will extend his contract after that, the Dutchman himself does not yet know. This will depend on several factors. Fernando Alonso has been active in Formula 1 since 2001. In 2019 and 2020, the Spaniard took a break from the king class, before returning anyway.

Alonso understands Verstappen from personal experience

In an interview with The Times, Alonso explained that he had the same thoughts as Verstappen throughout his career. "That’s what I was thinking when I was at Max’s age," the two-time world champion told The Times. ''I remember it was back in 2007, I signed a contract with McLaren for three years after being World Champion with Renault and I was 200 per cent sure that it was my last contract.'' The Spaniard then left for Ferrari.

After a while, Alonso started thinking about quitting again. This he did, but he still returned in 2021. ''I thought that it was my last season in 2018 and I said ‘bye bye’ to F1, thinking that it was enough for my career. I found, even when I decided to stop, I couldn’t." Alonso said.

This article was written in collaboration with Sophia Crothall.