F1: Verstappen Not a Fan of Las Vegas Grand Prix Opening Ceremony, Criticises 'Over the Top' Display

F1: Verstappen Not a Fan of Las Vegas Grand Prix Opening Ceremony, Criticises 'Over the Top' Display

Byron Pillay
November 16, 2023 at 1:17 PM
  • Max Verstappen has criticised the entertainment activities surrounding the Las Vegas Grand Prix
  • The three-time World Champion admitted that he 'felt like a clown' standing on the giant boxes
  • The opening ceremony for the race featured some of the biggest musical stars and a drone show

Max Verstappen just wants to go racing.

The triple world champion has voiced his unhappiness with the events at the Las Vegas Grand Prix as Formula 1 pulls out all the stops on its return to the area.

Max Verstappen not looking impressed.
Max Verstappen is not happy with the festivities taking place around the Las Vegas Formula 1 race. Image: Eric Alonso.
Source: Getty Images

While qualifying and the race only scheduled to take place over the weekend, Formula 1 kicked off festivities with an extravagant opening ceremony on Wednesday, November 15.

As part of the opening ceremony, drivers were presented to the crowd on giant boxes which rose up from the pit straight, something Verstappen wasn’t impressed with.

As reported by, the Dutch driver criticised the presentation and the other activities taking place.

"For me, you can all skip these things. It's just standing up there, you look like a clown," Verstappen said.

'Hunger Games' meets Formula 1

Verstappen wasn’t the only one who found the driver presentation strange. The official Mercedes-AMG account on TikTok likened it to being in the Hunger Games.

The stars come out in Las Vegas

The drivers weren’t the only ones on show during the opening ceremony, as numerous musicians also wowed the crowds.

As the Las Vegas Sun, a star-studded lineup of artists kicked off proceedings.

Thirty Seconds to Mars, DJs Steve Aoki and Tiёsto, John Legend, Kylie Minogue, and Journey got the crowd in a party mood.

There was also a stunning drone show, which left the crowd entertained.

All the festivities were too much for Red Bull’s Verstappen, who believed the emphasis was being taken away from the racing.

"It’s 99% show and 1% sporting event. I don't like all the things around it. I know, of course, in some places they are part of it, but let's say it's not in my interest," he explained.

While there’s no getting away from the fanfare at the event, Verstappen will instead focus on dominating another race this season and picking up another trophy.

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Las Vegas Grand Prix preview

In a previous report, Sports Brief touched on key details and previews ahead of the Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix in the Nevada state, America.

Despite Red Bull and Verstappen already having secured a third successive crown this year, there's still much at stake for the rest of the field.

Fellow RB driver, Sergio Perez is facing an ultimatum to save his 2024 seat, while Lewis Hamilton will look at his first win since Jeddah 2021.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
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