Max Verstappen has compared the Las Vegas street circuit to the National League while suggesting that the Monaco Grand Prix is more akin to the Champions League. The reigning world champion has been extremely vocal in his opposition to the event throughout the weekend.
Discussing the track layout after qualifying on Saturday, Verstappen stated: “Monaco is like the Champions League, this is like the National League.” The Dutchman was keen to separate the two events when asked about how they match up earlier in the weekend too.
Qualifying was a relatively frustrating affair for Verstappen and Red Bull. The 26-year-old ended the session in P3, behind Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, although in truth it never looked as though he had the raw pace to contend with the man on pole position.
This was far from the first time that Verstappen has criticised the circuit in Las Vegas. Speaking to Autosport earlier in the weekend he discussed the track characteristics, explaining: “Yeah, [it’s] not very interesting. It’s just not many corners, to be honest. I don’t know. I mean, it also will depend probably a bit on how grippy it is.
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“Doesn’t look like it has a lot of grip but yeah, we’ll go with the flow. I don’t think it’s that exciting, that’s the only thing. But naturally already for me, a street circuit is not very exciting, especially with these new cars. They’re just too heavy. And especially also when you have low grip, that doesn’t help.”
Verstappen has also been very critical of the show that has surrounded the proceedings this weekend. As the standout event on the 2023 calendar, F1 has invested hundreds of millions of pounds into the Las Vegas Grand Prix, and involved in this was a lavish opening ceremony in which the drivers were raised onto giant platforms to wave at the fans.
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This also didn’t go down too well with the three-time world champion, who was reluctant to wave at the fans while up on the platforms during the ceremony. After the event, he said: “We are just standing up there, looking like a clown.”
His Las Vegas frustrations have added to his recent qualms with the sprint race format as Verstappen continues to pick fights with the F1 and Liberty Media bosses regarding the direction the sport is heading in.
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