‘Embarrassing’ Max Verstappen called out as Red Bull star takes more flak

Former Renault F1 driver Jolyon Palmer has labelled Max Verstappen’s criticism of the Las Vegas Grand Prix before the event “embarrassing”. The Red Bull driver spent his media duties in Sin City making his opposition to the race publicly known.

Verstappen was damning in his criticism of the event before the lights went out on the streets of Las Vegas, insisting that the race was “99 per cent show, 1 per cent sporting event” while also stating that he ‘felt like a clown’ during the grand opening ceremony that kicked off the proceedings on Wednesday.

His public criticism was supported by many, but there were many figures in the paddock who believed that Verstappen took things too far. As the reigning world champion, the 26-year-old’s voice counts, but he found himself eating humble pie after the chequered flag waved.

When addressing the race off the back of his 18th race win of the season, Verstappen was much more positive about the quality of racing, even expressing his excitement to come back in 2024. The Grand Prix was viewed by many as the best of the season so far.

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Discussing Verstappen’s comments on the BBC Chequered Flag podcast, Palmer said: “Honestly, some of the comments before this weekend, even during this weekend… The negativity has been embarrassing.

“Max has been very critical of the event and it’s been a tremendous success. You say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it was delicious. I’ve just said [it was] the best Grand Prix of the year, certainly it’s in the top few and it was a big crowd. Okay, some of the American taste isn’t to everyone, you know big introductions.

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“We had that on, what was it now… Wednesday night, the opening ceremony, but I remember when I was racing at Silverstone, all the drivers were mandated to go to London on the Wednesday before to go and do some loop-the-loops up Trafalgar Square, and it was a fun event, but we had to do it.”

He went on to add: “And I just think wait until you have the race and see if we think it’s good or not and generally, it’s great. You can’t one minute say ‘This is a shambles this race, this isn’t… if Monaco is Champions League then this is National League’ and then fifty laps later you’re singing Viva Las Vegas in an Elvis suit.”

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