New Formula 1 races should not be a substitute for the “showdown” in Ibiza
Three-time Formula 1 champion Verstappen has been particularly outspoken and critical of the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, which he believes is a “99% spectacle” and a “1% sporting event”.
He also said that comparing a circuit that includes the famous track to a historic street track like Monaco is like comparing the leading football competition, the Champions League, with the National League.
The Red Bull driver, who finished third in qualifying but will finish second in the race with Carlos Sainz a 10-place penalty, believes the series should do more to sell motorsport to fans who attend the races rather than allowing them to. Concerts and other entertainment to attract attention.
“When I was a little kid, it was about the emotion of the sport I loved and not the presentation of the sport around it,” he said. “As a real racer, that shouldn’t really matter.
“A Formula 1 car on a street circuit doesn’t really come alive. It’s not that exciting. I think it’s more about the proper race tracks. When you go to Spa, Monza, places like that, they have a lot of passion and emotion.”
“Seeing the fans there, it’s unbelievable. When I jump in the car there, I get excited. I love driving to that kind of place.”
Photography: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Verstappen added that Formula One had not done enough to promote sporting competition and was instead relying too heavily on “random performances everywhere”.
He continued: “I understand that the fans probably need something to do around the track as well. But I think it is more important to make them understand what we do as a sport.
“Most of them just come to have a party, have a drink, watch a DJ play or perform. I can do it all over the world. I can go to Ibiza and be completely shy and have a good time. But that’s what happens (in racing).
“People come in and become fans of what? They want to see their favorite artist, have a few drinks with their mates, go out and have a crazy night. But they don’t actually understand what we do.” What we do and what we put on the line to do.
“If the sport focused more on that kind of thing and also explained more about what the team does throughout the season, what they achieve, what they are working towards, those kinds of things.
“I find it very important to look at that rather than just having all these random offers everywhere. For me, that’s not what I’m super passionate about.”
“I like the emotion and passion of this kind of place. I like Vegas but I don’t drive a Formula 1 car.”