‘Their lives are at stake while driving’ – Max Verstappen, on £37m-a-year, blasts ‘insane’ idea of F1 driver salary cap

‘Their lives are at stake while driving’ – Max Verstappen, on £37m-a-year, blasts ‘insane’ idea of F1 driver salary cap

FORMULA ONE world champion Max Verstappen and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez have blasted the “insane” idea of a driver salary cap.

Verstappen, 24, who is raking in an eye-watering £37m-a-year, says the drivers are putting their lives on the line when hopping inside the single-seated speed demon.

Verstappen is against a salary cap in F1
Verstappen is against a salary cap in F1Credit: Getty
The Dutchman says drivers risking their lives shouldn't have their earnings capped
The Dutchman says drivers risking their lives shouldn’t have their earnings cappedCredit: Getty
Hamilton was saved by the halo in Monza last season after a crash with Verstappen
Hamilton was saved by the halo in Monza last season after a crash with VerstappenCredit: AFP

The Dutchman would know a thing or two about high-speed, dangerous crashes.

At last season’s British Grand Prix, he was sent hurling into the safety barrier after a collision with seven-time world champion and title rival at the time, Lewis Hamilton.

At Monza, the pair came together again which resulted in Verstappen’s Red Bull parking on top of Hamilton’s Mercedes with the halo technology saving the Brit’s life.

Speaking to LADbible, the Dutchman said on a salary cap: “For me, it’s insane because it’s not only hurting us in F1, but nowadays, so many drivers are either backed by an F1 team or by personal sponsors who are investing in these young drivers’ careers, but of course, they also expect a return, or at least a percentage of their future income.

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“But if you start to cap their future income, they’re not that interested in supporting them throughout all the categories.

“And nowadays it’s so expensive going through all the categories before you even get to Formula One that it will hurt a lot of the lower categories. Yeah, for me, it’s very unfair.

“The sport now, in general, is booming. Everyone is making a lot more money, including, of course, the organisation, the teams, and then everyone is becoming profitable.

“And then, suddenly, the drivers, who actually make the show and risk their lives, and their, of course, their lives at stake while driving, they suddenly should be capped, and for me, that just makes no sense.” 

Verstappen is the second highest paid F1 driver on £37m-a-year
Verstappen is the second highest paid F1 driver on £37m-a-year

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Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate and nearest title rival this season, Perez, is in agreement that the guys “putting the show together” shouldn’t have their earnings capped – especially with the popularity of the sport sky-rocketing.

The Mexican said: “The drivers are the one risking their lives out there, putting the show together, you know?

“The sport, these are the best. Everyone is making the most money ever, so why you should you cut the drivers?

“I don’t think it’s correct.” 

Verstappen is currently leading the championship on 181 points.

His nearest rival, Perez has picked up 147 points – but has Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz hot on his heels.

Verstappen will start Saturday’s Austrian Grand Prix sprint race from pole position.

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Joshua Mbu

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