Max Verstappen says F1 fans are only at the Las Vegas Grand Prix to ‘have a party, drink or see a DJ’, telling organizers to put more focus on the racing because there’s no ‘passion or emotion’ in Sin City
- Verstappen compared the Las Vegas GP to the UK’s fifth-tier National League
- The GP was off to a bad start after technical difficulties canceled first practice
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Max Verstappen made his dissatisfaction with the Las Vegas Grand Prix having more emphasis on shows and concerts than the race itself abundantly clear.
F1’s first event in Sin City since 1982 has been advertised as a spectacle, turning the iconic strip into a $500million race circuit.
However, after qualifying second on the grid for Saturday’s race, the 26-year-old sounded off about the quality of the Las Vegas track and the event as a whole.
‘I understand that fans maybe need something to do as well around a track, but I think it’s more important that you make them understand what we do as a sport,’ Verstappen said.
‘Most of them just come to have a party, drink, see a DJ play or a performance act — I mean I can do that all over the world, I can go to Ibiza and get completely s***faced, you know?’
Max Verstappen criticized the lack of attention to the sport during the Las Vegas Grand Prix
F1’s first event in Sin City since 1982 turned the iconic strip into a $500million race circuit
The event verified the skepticism Verstappen felt since arriving on Wednesday. Verstappen labelled the GP as ’99 per cent show and 1 per cent sport’, saying he felt like ‘a clown’ during the grand opening ceremony.
Verstappen has also been critical of the three-day tickets averaging $1,667 while comparing the Las Vegas GP to National League (fifth tier of the English club football system).
‘I think if you would actually put more time into the actual sport and what we are actually trying to achieve here,’ Verstappen said. ‘Because as a little kid we [drivers] grew up to be a world champion.
‘If the sport would put more focus onto these kinds of things and also what a team is doing, what they are achieving and what they are working for, then these kinds of things are way more important to look at than having all these random shows all over the place.’
The organizers were previously flamed for adding a race-themed wedding chapel in the paddock for fans who want to get married near the action.
Organizers were previously flamed for adding a race-themed wedding chapel to the event
Additionally, technical difficulties ahead of Saturday confirmed the lack of attention given to the race.
On Thursday, the opening practice session was cancelled eight minutes in due to a loose water valve cover that damaged Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.
As a result, the second practice session was delayed until 2:30am and fans were asked to leave the circuit as security staff members had ended their shifts.
‘It’s not what I am passionate about,’ Verstappen added.
‘I love Vegas, but not to drive an F1 car. I love to go out, have a few drinks, throw everything on red, be crazy, have nice food.
‘But like I said, the emotion and passion is not there compared to old-school tracks.’
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