Max Verstappen admitted he did not enjoy his first laps around Las Vegas on Thursday night and Friday morning, with Formula 1 having made its long-awaited return to the city.
The three-time World Champion said he had been taking in laps of the track on the Formula 1 video game to try and learn it ahead of the sport’s arrival, but said before the weekend that he was not expecting to enjoy it.
Now that he has taken in laps around the track, that opinion has not changed.
Max Verstappen on Las Vegas: ‘I’ve had better tracks in my life’
Only eight minutes of FP1 elapsed before the session was curtailed after Carlos Sainz ran over a water valve cover and dislodged it, causing huge damage to his Ferrari in the process.
A two-and-a-half hour delay to FP2 ensued while checks were made to the rest of the circuit, meaning the cars did not get back out on track until 2.30am local time – the latest a Formula 1 practice session has ever taken place.
But for the reigning World Champion, the layout was not quite worth the wait from his perspective – and he plans to “just get on with it” over the weekend.
“No, no,” Verstappen said after the session when asked if he enjoyed his session around Las Vegas, before adding: “I’ve had better tracks in my life.”
“I mean, I already said that yesterday, there’s nothing new that I discovered or whatever. But yeah, we just get on with it.”
Verstappen finished FP2 in the lower reaches of the top 10 as Ferrari headed the session as a whole, but the Dutchman does not think it will be an easy race for which to pick a strategy.
Given how low the grip is on the circuit, he believes tyre wear will not be a “straightforward” factor for the teams this weekend.
“I think the soft over one lap of course is good, long run was a bit more difficult – seemed like the soft tyre was struggling quite a lot out there,” he explained.
“So we very quickly went onto the medium, but it seems like even the medium is not a straightforward tyre as well on the long run.
“So still a bit of things that we have to look into, you know, to see how we can improve our deg on the long run.
“I think we still look very good compared to others as well but I feel like maybe we can still do a better job. So yeah, not straightforward to pick your tyres I think for the race.”