Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

Verstappen says his prediction Las Vegas track would be ‘no fun’ was correct

Formula 1

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Max Verstappen did not discover anything in his first real-life experience of the Las Vegas F1 track which made him enjoy it more than he expected to.

The Red Bull driver said yesterday he had been unimpressed with the new circuit after driving it in the simulator. Asked after the first night of practice whether he had fun on the track Verstappen stated: “No.”

“No, I’ve had better tracks in my life,” he told the official F1 website. “I already said that yesterday [and] there’s nothing new that I discovered or whatever. But we’ll just get on with it.”

Practice was disrupted after a water valve cover came loose early in the first session and was struck by two cars, damaging both. The opening session was abandoned after less than 10 minutes and second practice was delayed by two-and-a-half hours as repairs and inspections were carried out.

The second practice session was extended to 90 minutes and passed without incident, allowing Verstappen to clock up 37 laps. With his rivals covering a similar distance, the new track surface began to gain some grip, said Verstappen.

“It’s slippery,” he said. “Of course, we didn’t really run a lot in FP1 so it took a bit of time to rubber in a little bit more.

“At the end it was a little bit better. We managed to do the whole program, which I guess was the most important for today.”

With track temperatures falling below 15C in the second session, which finished at 4am, drivers found it difficult to keep heat in their tyres, including the softest compound, over multiple-lap stints. Verstappen said it won’t be a straightforward decision which tyres to keep for the Saturday night race.

“I think the soft over one lap of course is good,” said Verstappen. “The long run was a bit more difficult, it seemed like the soft tyre was struggling quite a lot out there so we very quickly went onto the medium. But it seems that even the medium is not a straightforward tyre as well in the long run.

“So there’s still a bit of things that we have to look into, to see how we can improve our deg on the long run. I think we still look very good compared to others, as well, but I feel like maybe we can still do a better job. So not straightforward to pick your tyres I think for the race.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Verstappen says his prediction Las Vegas track would be ‘no fun’ was correct”

  1. straights and slow corners are not what the drivers like is it. It didn’t even look that great to drive from my sofa

    1. The track looks fantastic. It’s already one of the best tracks on the calendar. It’s a proper F1 = bloody fast. It’s one of very few F1 tracks where F3 cars wouldn’t look adequate. And that’s what makes it a proper F1 track.

      Drivers might prefer to drive on the old 22km long Nurburgring, and that’s understandable, but that Nurburgring would make for the worst race ever. This, however, might not be exciting to drive, but it will be fantastic to race on.

      1. oh! Just shows how little Max Verstappen actually knows! Tho sofa wise tbh the camera angles aren’t all that either

      2. If this look fantastic, then Silverstone is like something out of a very distant future.

        This track looks as interesting as watching cars going by on the M4

  2. So a four stopper due to having to use the soft tires?

  3. At least its not an oval

  4. I had to keep reminding myself it was Las Vegas while watching the session, it looked so like Jeddah and Singapore in places.

    1. +1 I didn’t see any landmarks that fit naturally into frame and the “strip” looks so unrecognisable with the huge grand stands and walls. If you showed me shots of this next to Saudi there would be no difference at all.

    2. The CVS was particularly spectacular.

    3. I struggled a lot to understand where the cars were. There’s no landmarks visible and the whole tracks looks the same. Maybe in person is alright but on the TV it’s impossible, much harder than Jeddah which has actual corners

  5. So they race with too long, too wide, too heavy cars on bad racing tracks everybody knows it won’t provide any entertainment.
    Why do i still pay any attention to this!?

    1. That’s the spirit!

    2. some racing fan
      17th November 2023, 19:42

      If that’s how you feel, they why bother even commenting?

      1. That doesn’t concern you.

  6. I’m loving his negativity. Wish he’d be as negative about Miami and Qatar too. I know there’s an extra layer of lameness though w/how much official F1 media & Sky have tried to hype this.

    1. Max is determined to show his disdain for the whole weekend. Quite funny really. He knows as the WDC his comments will be noted and reported.

    2. Both Qatar and Miami have good high speed sections.

  7. I feel a lot of negativity about this event, but I shall hold back until we have actually had a race.
    I want to see what the race itself is like before passing judgment.

    I do not have high hopes of this being a good race weekend though.

  8. i dont like verstappen but agree with him on this rubbish track. long straights, and then mickey mouse little turns where the tyres have not much grip, which is not a challenge for the driver just annoying, and prevents any passes on track apart from drs passes on the straights before the breaking zones.

  9. I’m not a fan of Max but I appreciate that he is in a position where he can and does speak his mind freely.

    I also can’t imagine what it would be like to spend an hour driving an F1 car at 200mph around the streets of Las Vegas at night, and then say I didn’t really enjoy it much. Max and I live such different lives :-)

  10. What a soulless excuse of a track; might as well be a car park at Caesar’s Palace. I didn’t see a single shot of the ‘crowds’ of fans, possibly because there were very few of them.

    1. Ah, I see. They kicked the fans out. Good move!

  11. Having watched the practice sessions I have to agree but go further and say it’s one of the worst… Well at least one of the most uninspiring, uninteresting & frankly dull circuits that i’ve ever seen F1 run at.

    I’ll go as far as saying that it’s worse than Valencia, Sochi, Jeddah & Miami as there isn’t a single corner, a single section or any other part of this circuit that looks interesting or challenging and for as bad as those other circuits I mentioned were/are they at least had at least one interesting corner or at least one challenging section that was kinda fun to watch cars navigate.

    This Las Vegas circuit just lacks that so is undoubtedly the worst circuit I have ever seen in terms of actually watching cars driving around it.

    The length of the DRS zones may well producing a lot of passing but again looking at the length of the straights & said DRS zones i’m not expecting that passing to be especially fun to watch because DRS-ing on long straights/zones like this never really is as it always tends to end up been far, far too easy. But when quantity over quality is what your after I guess Liberty won’t care.

    1. some racing fan
      17th November 2023, 15:49

      I don’t agree at all. This circuit is certainly better than all of those other circuits that you mentioned (particularly Sochi), and if you think you’ve seen the worst circuit in terms of “actually watching cars drive around it”, then you clearly have never seen the Minneapolis street circuit used by IMSA in the late 90’s. Oh, man. That is the worst circuit ever- bar none. You will want to gouge your eyes out after seeing that one. Other circuits worse than this one? AVUS, Caesars Palace, the Zeltweg Airfield, the original ’89 Phoenix street circuit (which could produce good racing), San Jose, this new 2024 Nashville street circuit, some other masterpieces used by ChampCar throughout the 2000’s, Queensland Raceway, and the Jinkai street circuit?

      1. I was talking purely about F1. I have indeed seen worse circuits in other categories including many that you mentioned.

        This has got me thinking though as to what I would actually consider the worst circuit I have ever seen any category use.

        I guess I would say probably the street circuit in Beijing that A1GP used in 2006 as it was not only a really dire circuit but it didn’t even really function as a racetrack as the hairpin was so tight the cars couldn’t actually drive around it. They did alter the layout with a hairpin that was a bit more open so cars could actually get round it but even then there was a huge bump in a near flat out corner that had cars coming off the ground, All of the advertising banners started coming off the barriers and the track in general was so narrow (Narrower than Monaco in places I believe) that it was basically impossible to overtake and that was with cars that were usually very good when it came to overtaking.

        1. One other thing to mention about that Beijing track.

          They had to do a single file rolling start as the starting grid and run to the first corner was so narrow & bumpy that they were unable to do wither a standing or 2 wide rolling start as they usually would.

          And the big bump was on the run to T1 rather than in a fast corner as I incorrectly stated.

          1. some racing fan
            17th November 2023, 17:05

            Yeah that was the Jinkai street circuit I mentioned.

      2. Ha, I saw that Minnneapolis track with my own eyes in ’96. Thing is, it was the first ever motor race I attended, and it made a motorsport fan out of me for life. Some folks have stories of being thunderstruck as a child at their first race by the sight of cars whipping around Copse Corner, or Eau Rouge, or 130R. I have Trans-Am cars lumbering down 2nd Street in Minneapolis. Even the worst street tracks can have some value, I guess.

        Actually, one of the reasons I was looking forward to this track is because I was thinking of it as a modern-day AVUS. I would love to have one track on the calendar that produces 50s/60s-era Monza-style slipstreaming pack races. I wouldn’t want all tracks to be like that, but one a year would be fun.

        1. some racing fan
          17th November 2023, 19:38

          Brainerd that circuit was definitely not…

      3. @some racing fan so not the worst track ever, just the worst track in 40 years? Good.

        1. some racing fan
          17th November 2023, 19:40

          What are you talking about?

  12. Unsurprisingly the track doesn’t look impressive. But it’s similarly tiring seeing people blast it as the Worst Thing Ever, just as they did with every other track built in the last 20 years.

    “Better than Miami” is the nicest thing I’ll say about it for now!

    1. I’d say this is worse than Miami because i think the firse sector at Miami is quite good and for as bad as the tight chicane is it at least offers a bit of a unique challenge.

      There’s nothing like that here it’s just all super dull with no interesting parts.

  13. Verstappen has just been very negative about this race and given he is the current lead driver in the sport, I do believe he should at least be more considerate in his comments

    1. *circumspect.
      He has dominated the sport and continues to be sound like such a spoilt sour kid

      1. I can see why you’d see it that way. Clear cultural gap that is used to hearing softened lies versus a culture that’s bluntly honest.

      2. Kudos to him for answering honestly and not mouthing the ‘Greatest Race Ever’ line of FOM.

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