Max Verstappen launches passionate defence of ‘proper racetracks’ and ’emotion’ in F1

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen waves to the crowd in Las Vegas.

Max Verstappen saluted the crowd in Las Vegas after qualifying.

Max Verstappen has spoken passionately about the need for Formula 1 to hold onto “emotion and passion” in the sport, which he does not feel Las Vegas has harnessed yet.

The three-time World Champion has been withering in his assessment of the sport’s arrival in Nevada, believing the drivers looked like “clowns” when placed on raised plinths in front of fans for the opening ceremony.

He is not much of a fan of the track layout either, though bar Monaco he is not the biggest supporter of street circuits in general – but the Red Bull driver spoke wholeheartedly about the importance of Formula 1 to engage fans on a sporting level, rather than an entertainment level.

Max Verstappen fell in love with ’emotion’ of F1, ‘not the show’

Fresh from qualifying third in Las Vegas, which will become second when Carlos Sainz has his grid penalty applied, Verstappen believes all the add-ons surrounding this weekend and others do not help people understand the sport.

While he said he loves Las Vegas as a city, he’s unsure if it’s suitable for Formula 1 – and the “emotion and passion” of “old school” circuits is not there, as he explained in detail.

“I can go on for a long time, but I feel like of course a kind of show element is important, but I like emotion,” Verstappen said after qualifying when asked for his overall assessment of the Las Vegas weekend so far.

“For me, when I was a little kid it was about the emotion of the sport, what I fell in love with and not the show of the sport around it because I think as a real racer, that shouldn’t really matter.

“First of all a racing car, a Formula 1 car anyway on a street circuit, I think doesn’t really come alive. It’s not that exciting.

“I think it’s more about just proper racetracks. You know, when you go to Spa, Monza, these kind of places, they have a lot of emotion and passion.

“And for me, seeing the fans there is incredible and for us as well, when I jump in the car there, I’m fired up and I love driving around these kinds of places.

“Of course, I understand that fans need maybe something to do as well around the track, but I think it’s more important that you actually make them understand what we do a sport because most of them just come to have a party, drink, see a DJ play or a performance act.

“I can do that all over the world. I can go to Ibiza and get completely sh*tfaced and have a good time. recommends

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“But that’s what happens and actually people, they come, and they become a fan of what? They want to see maybe their favourite artist and have a few drinks with their mates and then go out and have a crazy night out.

“But they don’t actually understand what we are doing and what we are putting on the line to perform.

“And I think if you would actually invest more time into the actual sport, what we’re actually trying to achieve here, too, as a little kid, we grew up wanting to be a World Champion.

“If I think the sport would put more focus on to these kinds of things and also explain more what the team is doing throughout the season, what they are achieving, what they’re working for, these kinds of things I find way more important to look at than just having all these random shows all over the place.

“For me, it’s not what I’m very passionate about, and I like passion and emotion with these kinds of places.

“I love Vegas, but not to drive an F1 car. I love to go out, have a few drinks, throw everything on red or whatever, to be a bit crazy and have nice food.

“But like I said, emotion, passion, it’s not there compared to some old school tracks.”

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