David Coulthard Foresees Max Verstappen’s Early Departure from Formula 1 Greats

Former Red Bull driver, David Coulthard has suggested Max Verstappen‘s Formula 1 career will not extend into his late 30s, distinguishing him from the trajectories of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

In the 2023 season, Verstappen exhibited one of the most statistically dominant performances in F1 history, securing victory in 19 races, including an impressive streak of 10 consecutive wins en route to his third world title.

Notably, he joined an exclusive group of five drivers, Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, and Juan Manuel Fangio—who have clinched three consecutive world championships.

The Dutch driver’s triumphs in the 2022 and 2023 seasons have propelled him to the position of the third most successful F1 driver in terms of race wins, amassing a total of 54 victories.

Schumacher holds the second spot with 91 wins, while Hamilton presently boasts the record for the highest number of F1 victories, standing at 103.

Coulthard speaking to the media remarked: “He arrived in a blaze of potential, won his first Grand Prix for Red Bull, had a few learnings along the way, which is inevitable irrespective whether you are a Senna, Schumacher, Verstappen or a Hamilton [but] he’s rounded off into the complete package.”

“So [at] 26 years old, arguably, he’s got at least another good five years in him, some people go off the boil a bit earlier.

“I think Sebastian Vettel could be an example of that. He [produced some] really exceptional performances in the early phase of his career. T

“Then, I think, he was just a good racing driver towards the end of his career, you know, these are only opinions, but their opinions, backed off by relative performance to his teammates.

“Max, I think, will be a force in Formula 1 for as long as he wants to remain in Formula 1. Do I see him still being in Formula 1 at 39 or whatever age Lewis is now? Personally, I don’t.

“Then again, I’m not the fountain of all knowledge or the great predictor, but I think he’s just been so immersed in getting to Formula 1 and achieving in Formula 1 from such an early and intense phase of his life.

“I would be surprised if he doesn’t, sooner rather than later, decide that he’s had his fill and that there’s a lot of other things he would like to discover in life.”

Coulthard however suggests Formula 1 will continue to grow irrespective of any driver departure from the sport.

“Well, Formula 1 continued to grow after the loss of Ayrton Senna, arguably one of the greatest and certainly one of the most charismatic drivers of his time.”

“So the reality is, with the greatest respect to any single individual you know, life has a habit of continuing on and moving forward. And Formula 1 has continued to capture the public’s imagination.

“It’s the fastest form of circuit racing, it’s a mixture of technology in politics, sport, and outright performance with the human endeavour, the gladiatorial aspect of a driver strapping themselves into 200mph machines has, I think, always resonated with a wide demographic, and I think it’ll continue to do so.”