NoAfter the pompous opening spectacle of Formula 1 in Las Vegas, world champion Max Verstappen reiterated his indifference towards the entertainment program of the top racing class away from the tracks. The Red Bull driver said he had “zero interest” in the “99% spectacle, 1% sporting event” combination, he said on Wednesday evening (local time). “I always want to just focus on the performance. I don’t like all this stuff.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix is the prestige project of Formula 1 rights holder Liberty Media, which wants to further grow the racing series in the booming US market. Competitions had already taken place in the gambling metropolis in 1981 and 1982. At the time, the events held in the parking lot behind the Caesars Palace Hotel received little attention.
“Whether I like it or not, they’re still making money. “I don’t pretend, I express my opinion on positive and negative things,” said the Dutchman, confirmed as three-time champion before the penultimate Grand Prix of the year. “Some people like the show a little more, I don’t like it at all. I grew up only watching performances.”
Stars including Kylie Minogue and John Legend performed at the opening party in Las Vegas, and a drone light show illuminated the impressive night backdrop in the drizzle. The assembled team of drivers was presented to the public on the starting straight. “I like being in Vegas, but not so much for the racing. For me you can just leave all these things out,” Verstappen said after the show. You stand there and look “like a clown”.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso believes the entertainment factor in the gambling metropolis is understandable. “Places like this and given the investment that has been made, they deserve different treatment and a different show,” said the Spanish Aston Martin driver. He is ready “to provide extra for this type of show”, but Alonso believes the drivers’ commitments to the media are excessive.