Nico Rosberg’s salary reminder to Max Verstappen in wake of Las Vegas criticism

Mark Scott
Nico Rosberg side by side with Max Verstappen

Nico Rosberg: Has his say on Max Verstappen's Vegas criticism

Nico Rosberg has said he can understand the driver complaints – Max Verstappen being the most vocal – about the Las Vegas Grand Prix spectacle but “it’s part of game”.

Straight from outset of race week, Verstappen made his thoughts very clear on the razzmatazz surrounding the huge Las Vegas Grand Prix event, mellowing slightly when it came the most important part in his eyes: the racing.

But Rosberg has reminded his fellow World Champion and his former fellow racers that marketing events and non-race activities are part of the F1 job, a job that they are paid very well to do.

Nico Rosberg: “It’s important to give back”

Given the size and scale of the Las Vegas spectacle that F1 built and promoted from the ground up, it is Rosberg’s opinion that drivers should be prepared for plenty of commercial appearances over the course of the weekend.

And with the likes of Max Verstappen earning a reported $55million a season, the marketing pill is one that drivers should be able to be swallow.

“What we like to do is just drive the race car,” Rosberg said in an interview with the Daily Mail, as part of a SIXT promotion from Las Vegas.

“And of course, in our job at F1, there is so much that we have to do also around the actual driving the race car.

“Driving the race car is actually like the smallest part of what we do and especially all the media work and all the work with the sponsors.

“In Vegas, there’s so much sponsor work that a driver needs to do, going from one dinner appearance to the next, one activation to the next.

“And we drivers, that’s like the part that we least like about our job. We always want to try and minimize that because it also can negatively impact our performance on the racetrack if we get to the actual driving and are tired or something, or not concentrated.

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He continued: “And that’s why very often drivers will be a bit critical when it’s too much sponsor work and activation and entertainment and show. Vegas, of course, was one of the biggest shows of the year for F1. So that’s why some drivers were critical initially.

“But it’s part of the game, isn’t it? And we earn a great amount of money as well. And it’s thanks to the sponsors, thanks to the fans.

“So we just always have to accept that we need to dedicate some time to give back to sponsors and give back to fans because they’re the ones who pay our salaries.”

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