According to Dutch media, Max Verstappen met with F1 to discuss his feelings about the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen’s negativity about the Las Vegas GP in the build-up of the race weekend resulted in a meeting between him and an F1 delegate, according to Dutch publication De Telegraaf.
The three-time World Champion was the most vociferous of critics as the weekend began, as Verstappen branded the Las Vegas GP – F1’s new crowning glory race – as nothing but spectacle rather than racing – a situation that didn’t sit well with the Dutch driver.
Having been unhappy about standing on an elevated platform to smile and wave to the crowd at Wednesday’s launch party, Verstappen didn’t hold back in his criticism.
“For me, you can skip this,” said the reigning World Champion. “We are just standing up there, looking like a clown. I mean, yeah…
“Some people like the show a bit more, I don’t like it at all. I grew up just looking at the performance side of things and that’s how I see it as well. So for me, I like to be in Vegas, but not so much for racing.
“We are not a stakeholder, so we just go with it. They decide what they do, right?
“I would do the same if I was the owner, I wouldn’t listen to the drivers. It’s my sport, I would do with it what I want if that would be the case.”
Verstappen also deemed the Las Vegas circuit itself ‘National League’, with the Monaco GP circuit ‘Premier League’ and delivered a passionate monologue in the drivers’ press conference about the types of venue that make him feel the love for F1 – Las Vegas was not included.
De Telegraaf reports that Verstappen met with someone from F1 a few hours before Sunday’s Grand Prix – which Verstappen duly won – although whether the meeting was requested by F1 or Verstappen himself isn’t clear.
Verstappen’s father, Jos, also told the newspaper that he believed his son could have been more diplomatic in how he expressed himself.
“I do think he can say things, but in this case in a neater way. I told him that directly,” Verstappen senior said.
“Once in a while he needs that too. I also think the battery is running out a bit, with a lot of people. But that Max likes racing, you saw that today. I do understand his opinion, but you can’t kick blindly at everything.”
Certainly, Verstappen’s cough had softened by the time he chatted with the media after scoring his 18th win of the season. Singing ‘Viva Las Vegas’ as he crossed the finish line, Verstappen denied that he’d ever had any doubts that the racing itself would provide a good show at the new street circuit.
“It was a lot of fun there,” he said.
“With the DRS as well that helped a lot for very good racing here. Also, I think the low degradation with the tarmac here you can really push on the tyres, which I think was good.
“So yeah, like so it was a lot of fun out there. I hope everyone enjoyed it a bit. And we definitely did. Already excited to come back here next year and hopefully try to do something similar.”