Max Verstappen backtracks on F1 comments after he ‘felt like a clown’

Max Verstappen has been against the introduction of Sprint races and wasn't a fan initially of the Las Vegas GP.

Max Verstappen has admitted that despite openly criticising it, he does “fully understand” Formula 1’s method of growing.

The three-time World Champion has been quick to slam the sport over recent months in regard to certain decisions made, with perhaps his most controversial comment having come at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

At the recent race in Sin City, Verstappen accused F1 of making it “99% show, 1% sporting event”, whilst he also admitted that he “felt like a clown” during the opening ceremony ahead of the Grand Prix.

F1, of course, promoted the Las Vegas GP themselves, something they’d never previously done.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Racing in places like Las Vegas is part of F1’s method of continuing to grow and become more entertaining, with that a large part of why Sprint races were introduced in 2021.

Verstappen has been vocally against Sprint races ever since they were initially discussed and has stressed that if F1 continue to tweak with the format, then he’ll likely retire when his deal expires at the end of 2028.

As was the case this year, 2024 will consist of six Sprint events, although the likelihood is that the sport would like every Grand Prix to feature a Sprint in the future.

This is what MotoGP introduced in 2023 and did actually result in more entertainment and action.

Article continues below

Incredibly, despite his criticism of how F1 are trying to make the sport bigger, the Dutchman understands why certain decisions have been made, with him admitting that if he were in charge he wouldn’t “listen to the drivers”.

“My salary didn’t grow because of the sport growing,” Verstappen explained to media including

“I fully understand [F1’s position], and you can look at it two ways: the business side and the sport side.

READ: Sergio Perez warns F1 bosses as discontent grows

“Of course I understand their side as well, but I am just voicing my opinion on the performance side.

“We are not stakeholders, so I just go with it, and they decide what they do.

“I would do the same if I was the owner, I wouldn’t listen to the drivers, it is my sport and I would do what I want if that was the case, but when I am asked a question, I want to try and answer it in an honest way.”