Max Verstappen told off by his father

Ahead of the Las Vegas GP, Max Verstappen accused the event of being "99% show, 1% sporting event".

Max Verstappen’s father and ex-Formula 1, driver Jos Verstappen, revealed during last weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix that he told his son to stop being so critical of the event, which was promoted directly by the sport.

The first F1 race in Sin City since 1982 was arguably one of the best of the season, with the new street circuit having provided plenty of overtaking opportunities.

A battle for the lead ensued throughout the Grand Prix, in what was a race which was actually enjoyed by most of the drivers.

An excellent race is exactly what F1 needed, after the opening day of the event was a complete disaster.

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Free Practice 1 was cancelled after just eight minutes following a loose manhole cover, which led to a 150-minute delay to Free Practice 2.

Fans waited patiently whilst F1 and the FIA tried to solve the problems with the circuit; however, they were all told to leave a matter of minutes before FP2 finally got underway at 2:30am local time.

F1 has received significant backlash for this and the fact they’ve failed to refund fans and have instead given those with only tickets to the opening day a $200 merchandise voucher.

Ahead of the Grand Prix and on the opening day, Verstappen was very vocal in regard to his displeasure of the event.

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He insisted that the opening ceremony makes each driver look like a “clown”, whilst he accused F1 of the Las Vegas GP being “99% show, 1% sporting event”.

Some praised his open criticism of the event; however, his father did tell him to rein in his negative comments.

“I do think he can say things, but in this case in a neater way. I told him that directly,” Jos revealed to De Telegraaf.

“Once in a while, he needs that too. I also think the battery is running out a bit, with a lot of people. But that Max likes racing, you saw that today. I understand his opinion, but you can’t kick blindly at everything.”

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko also later admitted that Verstappen’s comments about the Las Vegas GP could’ve been said a “bit more diplomatically”.

Marko stressed that the sport remained happy with the Dutchman though, and that perhaps tiredness played a part in his comments.

“Max is very straightforward, perhaps could have said things a bit more diplomatically, but has now made up for everything,” Marko said.

“I’m sure the organization is very happy with him now. You also have to consider that we are at the end of the season. Everyone is tired, all the employees here were struggling with jet lag and had bags under their eyes.

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“Max generally doesn’t like all kinds of marketing and PR hassle, but eighty per cent of our sponsors are American and present here. I think his reaction earlier this week would have been different if we had been more at the start of the season.”

Come the end of the Las Vegas GP, Verstappen had seemingly become a fan of the event, as he battled through the field from ninth to claim his 18th win of 2023.

Verstappen tumbled to ninth after being slapped with a five-second time penalty, for forcing Charles Leclerc off the circuit at the first corner.