Max Verstappen makes Las Vegas feelings very clear ahead of huge F1 return

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen looks past the camera with a slight smile.

Max Verstappen looks past the camera.

Max Verstappen is not looking forward to his Las Vegas trip, remarking that he wants to “do my thing and be gone again.”

There is a sense of cautious optimism as Formula 1 prepares for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix and while some in the paddock are excited to be racing under the lights, there are others who could not think of anything worse.

While the setting is one of the more spectacular on the F1 calendar, the track layout does not hint at great racing.

Max Verstappen says Vegas is ‘more for the show than the racing’

Long straights and tight corners has some wondering just how good the racing will be in Nevada and with the added issue of near-freezing temperatures, the race may not go down as a classic.

That is certainly the opinion of three-time World Champion Verstappen who said F1 is “there more for the show than the racing.”

“First of all, I think we are there more for the show than the racing itself if you look at the layout of the track,” Verstappen said.

“But you know, I’m actually not that into it. I’m more like, I’ll go there and do my thing and be gone again.”

Vegas is not the only tight track street circuit on the calendar but when the example of Monaco was raised to the Red Bull driver, he suggested it was the history that made the Monte Carlo circuit special.

“Yes, but Monaco is also just history and the place itself. Everyone wants to have been to Monaco once. You can’t really compare.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Revealed: The contract status of every single race on the F1 2023 calendar

The F1 records held by Max Verstappen…and ones he can still break in 2023

But a new circuit does pose a problem for the teams with no real life laps to run analysis on. To compensate for that, teams and drivers will spend hours in the sim but Verstappen admitted he has hit the wall more than he would like when playing the circuit on the F1 video game.

“There’s still a lot to do. I still need to go on the simulator. I still don’t even know the track, to be honest,” he said in the build up to the race in Sao Paulo.

“The last time I tried it on the F1 game, I think I hit more walls than I was going straight, so let’s hope that’s not the case when I start driving there!

“But it’s going to be very different to [Brazil]: very low temperatures, of course, in the night there. Street circuit. We have no experience there. We don’t know the track grip. All new, so maybe it will give you a few surprises. I don’t know.”

Read next: Ranked – Every Mercedes car since the Silver Arrows returned to F1