Max Verstappen insists he won’t gamble at all in Las Vegas, but added if he did bet on the race then he’d bet on himself to win rather than another driver, so he could fully control the outcome.
Verstappen arrives at the Las Vegas Grand Prix having won a record-breaking 17 out of 20 races in 2023, and sitting as the odds-on favourite to take victory on the last two weekends of the season too.
However, when questioned about the small return he’d get for his own win instead of betting on 750/1 outsider Logan Sargeant or any other driver, Verstappen added he’d rather back himself.
“It puts the risk in other hands, right?” Verstappen told the media. “But I don’t do that kind of stuff. It’s quite obvious you can’t bet on my own performances, otherwise, you can influence it yourself.”
Verstappen‘s already said he doesn’t enjoy gambling and prefers the shows or high-end restaurants in Las Vegas, but revealed he is at liberty to gamble in casinos if he wants.
Toto Wolff had previously said he’d banned Mercedes team members from gambling – aside from on pit strategy.
“[It’s forbidden] on your own sport, but if you want to play poker, or Blackjack, I am allowed, it’s my money,” Verstappen added.
Verstappen: You have to push through
Verstappen also revealed he’d altered his sleep schedule in the fortnight since the Brazilian GP to prepare for the unprecedented Las Vegas schedule.
The grand prix airs in Europe as if it’s an eastern timezone race like Australia or Japan, meaning qualifying will start at midnight on Friday night local time, while the race is on Saturday for the first time since the 1985 South African GP.
Before that, 30 British GPs were held on a Saturday with the last in 1983, and Kyalami even hosted two Monday races.
“After Brazil I already tried to live a little bit on this kind of timezone, even when I went home,” Verstappen said. “So going to bed really late for European standards, it’s okay.
“In the nights, after 12 o’clock it is a little bit tough. But yeah, you just have to push yourself through it a bit.”