Max Verstappen has a clear opinion about the Grand Prix in Las Vegas. The Red Bull driver commented on the entertainment program from motorsport’s premier class after the opening show. He had “zero interest” in combining “99 per cent show, 1 per cent sporting event”, the Red Bull driver said on Wednesday evening (local time). “I always just want to focus on performance. I don’t like all these things.”
The Las Vegas Grand Prix is the flagship project of Formula 1 rights holder Liberty Media, which looks to further grow the racing series in the fast-growing US market. “Whether I like it or not, they’re still making money. I don’t show off, I express my opinions on positive and negative things,” said the Dutchman, who was confirmed as champion three times before the final Grand Prix of the year. “Some people like the show a little more, I don’t like it at all. I have grown up watching performances.”
The glitzy launch party in Las Vegas featured performances by stars like Kylie Minogue and John Legend. Additionally, a light show with drones illuminated the impressive night scenes. Furthermore, the assembled team of drivers was presented to the spectators at the start-finish straight. “I love being in Vegas, but not so much for the racing. For me you can give up all this stuff,” Verstappen said after the parade. You stand there and look “like a clown.”
Fernando Alonso sees it differently. The two-time world champion expressed his understanding of the show factor in the gambling metropolis. “Places like this, given the investment made, deserve a different treatment and a different show,” said the Spanish Aston Martin driver. He is willing “to give extra for this type of show”, but Alonso considers the pilots’ media appointments excessive.
The eagerly awaited return of Formula 1 to Las Vegas will be a big challenge for the premier class teams. Not only will they have to adapt their cars to the new track, but the cold weather expected for the night race at 10pm on Saturday night (7am on Sunday morning Central European Time) is also likely to have a major impact on the tyres. In addition, the freshly laid asphalt on the road circuit promises a lot of excitement due to the risk of slipping.
“This race is definitely a big unknown for all of us. We don’t know what to expect, but we are looking at it like any other weekend,” stressed Max Verstappen, the long-time world champion. Dominated the season going on to his 18th win in the 21st and final race of the year. But the outside temperature, which may only be in the single digits, will be a major challenge even for their vastly improved Red Bull team. “The temperatures on the track will be very low, so it will be very interesting to see how our car performs in these conditions,” said the Dutchman.