In an unprecedented move breaking a four-decade tradition, Formula 1 enthusiasts will witness a groundbreaking event as the Las Vegas Grand Prix takes center stage on a Saturday night at 10 p.m. local time. The current Formula 1 world champion, Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing, expressed his disapproval of the upcoming spectacle during a recent interview with the BBC.
Verstappen, hailing from the Netherlands, minced no words in conveying his dissatisfaction with the Las Vegas Grand Prix. He categorized the event as "99 percent a show and one percent a sports event," emphasizing his preference for a more competitive and sports-focused racing experience.
The shift to a Saturday night race schedule, breaking the traditional Sunday pattern, drew particular criticism from Verstappen, who found it challenging, especially towards the conclusion of the racing season. Expressing his candid opinions, Verstappen made it clear that he prioritizes the competitive nature of Formula 1 over the entertainment factor, stating, "I'm a grown man, so the most important thing for me is the competition." His lack of enthusiasm for Las Vegas as a racing destination was evident, stating that while he enjoys being in the city, it's not for the racing spectacle.
As Formula 1 teams and drivers participated in the opening ceremony on Wednesday, contrasting views emerged. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, expressing excitement about the unique setting of Las Vegas, acknowledged the event's grandeur.
However, he remained pragmatic, emphasizing the business aspect of the sport, reserving judgment on the race until it unfolds on the track. Despite differing opinions, Verstappen currently leads the overall driver standings with an impressive 524 points, securing his third consecutive Formula 1 title well before the season's conclusion.
Teammate Sergio Perez follows in second place with 258 points, while Hamilton, in his quest for the championship, trails closely behind in third with 226 points. The Las Vegas Grand Prix, with its deviation from the conventional race weekend schedule, has sparked debates within the Formula 1 community.
Whether it will be embraced by fans and participants remains uncertain, but the spectacle promises to be a captivating affair as it unfolds through the illuminated streets of Las Vegas. The ultimate conclusion to the Formula 1 season awaits at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 26, adding a layer of anticipation and significance to the events leading up to it.