Miserable Max Verstappen continues protest against extravagant Las Vegas show after declining party invite
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Miserable Max Verstappen continues protest against extravagant Las Vegas show after declining party invite

Nov 17, 2023

Max Verstappen is clearly not a fan of the hype surrounding the upcoming F1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas.

The three-time world champion has doubled down on his dislike of the venue, having declined a pre-show party invite.

Verstappen has not been impressed with the Las Vegas Grand Prix

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Verstappen has not been impressed with the Las Vegas Grand PrixCredit: AFP

Las Vegas will host a Grand Prix for the first time since 1982 as cars race down the city’s famous strip.

A pre-match ceremony has already taken place, with drivers greeting fans and singer Kylie Minogue, along with Journey, both playing.

The spectacular show was like something out of the Hunger Games – but Verstappen, who has already won the Drivers’ Championship, is not a fan of the extravagance.

“99% show and 1% sporting event,” Verstappen told the media ahead of the upcoming race.

“I don’t have a lot of emotions to be honest, I just want to focus on the performance side of things, I don’t like all the things that are around, I know they are part of it, but it is not in my interest.

“[The track] is not very interesting, and I just want to do the best I can – there is no problem – but it’s not really my thing.

“If I like it or not, it is not up to me, but I am not going to fake it.

“I just voiced my opinion on positive and negative things, and that is just how I am.

“Some people like the show a bit more, I don’t like it at all.

The opening ceremony was a fantastic spectacle

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The opening ceremony was a fantastic spectacleCredit: Getty

“I grew up just looking at the performance side of things, and that is how I see it as well. I like to be in Vegas – but not so much for the racing.”

The Dutchman was among several drivers to reject a firm request from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali to attend a party at the Wynn Hotel earlier this week.

The F1 ‘Hunger Games’ begins in Las Vegas as ‘tributes’ meet fans in spectacular opening ceremony

Some believe too much strain is being put on the drivers’ time in Las Vegas and Verstappen argues they are being made to look like ‘clowns’.

“For me, you can skip all these kinds of things,” he said.

“It’s just standing up there, [and you] look like a clown.”

Lewis Hamilton, however, has a different perspective on the Las Vegas extravaganza.

He said: “It’s amazing to be here. It is exciting – such an incredible place, so many lights, a great energy, a great buzz.

“This is one of the most iconic cities there is. It is a big show, for sure. It is never going to be like Silverstone [in terms of history and purity]. But maybe over time the people in the community here will grow to love the sport.”


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