Max Verstappen criticised the Las Vegas Strip Circuit as dull but insisted he’s still as motivated as ever to win and extend his 2023 Formula 1 world championship margin of victory even further at the penultimate race of the season.
The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix is F1‘s first visit to the city since two ill-fated races in the 1980s but will feature a very different track, that runs the length of the main Strip and passes all the major casinos.
The track has 17 corners but nearly all are slow-speed, while a weather forecast for 12-15 degrees Celsius has raised major concerns about tyre temperatures.
“I don’t think it’s that exciting,” Verstappen told the media. “That’s the only thing but I think naturally for me, a street circuit is not very exciting, especially with these new cars, they’re just too heavy.
“And that especially doesn’t help when you have low grip, of course the scenery will look great driving through The Strip, but the layout itself is not the most exciting.
“I think an F1 car is a lot more fun with a lot of high-speed corners and around here, you don’t have many high-speed corners. But [grand prix] are all just as important. And I mean, I always want to do the best I can.”
Verstappen: We’ll go with the flow
Verstappen admitted ahead of arriving in Las Vegas that he crashed the first time he attempted The Strip Circuit on a simulator, but appeared much more confident after a week to prepare.
Verstappen arrives with a monstrous 266-point lead in the drivers’ standings over second-placed teammate Sergio Perez, who himself has the chance to confirm Red Bull‘s first-ever championship one-two by finishing within 6 points of Lewis Hamilton.
“I spent an hour one afternoon on it,” Verstappen added. “There’s so many corners, but it’s just to get into a bit of a rhythm and understand all the possible scenarios a bit that can happen setup-wise, balance-wise.
“[It’s] not very interesting. Can compare it with Baku, Singapore it’s just not many corners. It also will depend probably a bit on how grip, it doesn’t look like it has a lot of grip. But we’ll go with the flow”