Max Verstappen has criticised the “99% show, 1% sporting event” nature of this weekend’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix and lambasted Wednesday’s opening ceremony.
F1 is returning to Vegas for the first time in more than 40 years with a new street circuit, with F1 themselves promoting the event and building a new pit building to the tune of $500m.
But three-time world champion Verstappen, who was among the 20 drivers dramatically introduced to the crowd during Wednesday’s lavish opening ceremony via a lift onto a string of podiums, did not pull any punches about the spectacle of the event in Sin City.
“I don’t like all the things around it,” said the Red Bull driver. “I’m looking forward to trying to do the best I can but I’m not looking forward to this.
“For me you can skip these kind of things. It’s just standing up there, you look like a clown.
“I fully understand and you can look at it two ways, business side or sport side. So, of course, I understand their side of it.
“I’m just voicing my opinion on the performance side of things.”
Wednesday’s opening ceremony started with spectacular drone sequences, preceding a number of performances from artists such as Kylie Minogue, John Legend and Tiesto.
All 20 drivers then briefly appeared to rapturous applause from the crowd in the grandstands.
Verstappen, who has won 17 of the 20 races in a season of utter domination, also labelled the new 17-turn track as “not very interesting.”
Verstappen also labelled the Las Vegas Strip Circuit as ‘not very interesting’
“I don’t think it’s that exciting,” he told media on Wednesday.
“Already for me, a street circuit is not very exciting, especially with these new cars, too heavy. Also when you have low grip, that doesn’t help.
“Of course the scenery will look great, driving on The Strip, but the layout itself is not the most exciting.
In F1 cars, it’s a lot more fun with a lot of high speed corners and around here, there are not that many high-speed corners.”
Verstappen is still the heavy favourite to add to his win tally this Saturday night, having won every grand prix bar one since April.