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Verstappen issues F1 retirement ultimatum as six-way title battle looms

Verstappen issues F1 retirement ultimatum as six-way title battle looms

Verstappen issues F1 retirement ultimatum as six-way title battle looms

Verstappen issues F1 retirement ultimatum as six-way title battle looms

Max Verstappen has warned "if you're not prepared, then it's better to stop" ahead of a potential six-way battle for the title next year.

The Dutchman was dominant in his maiden season as the defending champion, scoring a record-breaking 15 race wins and sealing the title with four events to spare.

But with Mercedes gathering pace in the closing weekends and Ferrari once again expected to provide a threat, Verstappen could find himself in a six-way battle for honours next term.

Asked if he is ready for a battle similar in scope to his experience with Lewis Hamilton in 2021, the Red Bull driver said: "If you're not prepared, then it's better to stop already, right?

"I mean, I think we're all racers and we love racing. Of course, it's just that it's nice to have a season like I had last year but it's also nice to have a season like I have this year.

"It just would be very tough if you have that every single year you know, the year I had last year but that also doesn't really happen in Formula 1 so it should be okay."

Charles Leclerc was Verstappen's closest challenger this year after overcoming Sergio Perez at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Agreeing with his rival's assessment, Leclerc added: "I think we are all prepared for longer seasons. I hope it will be tight.

"It's always nice to have a fight until the end. But yeah, I'm prepared for more races and for a longer fight, hopefully."

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