Max Verstappen will head to Las Vegas later this month to do his part, but the Red Bull driver sees F1’s latest extravaganza as a “show” rather than a proper motor race.
Formula 1 has invested heavily into its glitzy event in the gambling capital of the world, having made a long-term commitment to the venue.
FOM even went as far as to acquire a significant piece of land – for a hefty $240 million – near the city's famous 'Strip' to house its imposing pit and hospitality complex.
Laying out the 6.20km, 14-turn street circuit in the heart of downtown Las Vegas was, on paper, a relatively easy task.
But bringing the venue to life as it winds past iconic locations like Caesars Palace, the Bellagio and the Venetian, without interrupting the flow of visitors to and from those landmarks has been a daunting assignment.
Verstappen’s first impression of Las Vegas’ street circuit didn’t leave the Dutchman high-rolling with excitement to say the least.
"First of all, I think we are there more for the show than the racing itself if you look at the layout of the track,” he said.
"But you know, I'm actually not that into it. I'm more like, I'll go there and do my thing and be gone again."
Verstappen agreed that racing in Vegas would likely be similar to Monaco, although the three-time world champion acknowledged the latter’s historical status in F1.
“Yes, but Monaco is also just history and the place itself,” he said. “Everyone wants to have been to Monaco once. You can't really compare."
Verstappen also admitted that considering F1’s growing popularity in America, Las Vegas is surely a promising commercial venture for F1 if not a sporting one.
"In terms of racing spectacle, maybe not. But in terms of potential partners, for the whole thing around it maybe,” he said.
“But of course, that's something I'm not very much into..."