Nov.20 - Dr Helmut Marko has defended Max Verstappen's foul mood throughout the Las Vegas GP weekend - even though his spirits lifted with an exciting race and victory in the dead of Saturday night.

Dutchman Verstappen had said he felt like a "clown" for Formula 1's new spectacle that was "99 percent show and 1 percent sport", attacking the event from every angle.

But the actual race at least delivered on the promise of a thrilling and close wheel-to-wheel contest.

"The sport had to deliver on the track today and it was achieved," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said. "In the end, even Max enjoyed it."

Indeed, the new reigning triple world champion even sang 'Viva Las Vegas' into his radio after the chequered flag - whilst wearing Elvis-themed racing overalls.

But it came after a long weekend of criticism from Verstappen's mouth.

"I always said that we should only draw a conclusion after the race," Red Bull team advisor and key Verstappen ally Marko, 80, told De Telegraaf.

"And the race was fantastic."

For his part, Verstappen said he "always expected" the actual racing to be exciting with all the long straights, cold track temperatures and new low-grip asphalt.

"That has never been my issue," he insisted. "But yeah, today was fun. That's the only thing I want to say about it."

His old 2021 title nemesis Lewis Hamilton, however, could not resist a jibe at all of Verstappen's weekend-long negativity.

"I think for all those who were so negative about the weekend, saying it was all about the show, blah blah blah, I think Vegas proved them wrong," said the Mercedes driver.

Even Haas driver Kevin Magnussen criticised Verstappen.

"It's good to have an opinion," he told Ekstra Bladet newspaper. "But maybe you can keep it to yourself sometimes.

"At the end of the day, we all make pretty good money and live the good life. And it's because all of this," the Dane added in Las Vegas.

"Maybe we should appreciate it a little more."

Marko admits Verstappen had let his tongue wag a little too freely at the end of a long season.

"Max is very straightforward but perhaps he could have said things a bit more diplomatically. But he's now made up for everything. I'm sure the organisers are very happy with him now," said the Austrian.

"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 bags under their eyes.

"Max generally doesn't like all the marketing and PR hassle and 80 percent of our sponsors are American and all here. I think his reaction would have been different if we had been here more at the start of the season," Marko added.

"All's well that ends well," he said. "A race like this once a year is fine."

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26 F1 Fan comments on “Max's Vegas Rollercoaster: From 'Clown' to Celebrated Grand Prix Winner

  1. ReallyOldRacer

    Ask the fans in the stands. Oh wait, you threw them out after 8 minutes of action and three & a half hours of sitting. BTW, LV was a solid race...better than Miami...but thrilling and fantastic are a bit of a stretch.

    A couple of years ago I opined that F1 was moving from racing to providing a spectacle. From that POV Vegas is the new benchmark. Viva! indeed.

  2. shroppyfly

    Im thinking how the French,Italian and Bolshy British fans would have reacted , if they were kindly told to vacate there seats after 8 mins , Im kinda thinking it wouldn't go too well lol

    • ReallyOldRacer

      Well Shrop' it was 8 min of cars & then a couple hours of waiting for updates. Smart move on the part of organizers. By then they were probably too cold and tired to fuss.

      BTW, every post needs, #it was not a manhole cover, included.

        • ReallyOldRacer

          I'd rather be sitting on a hill at Spa with a tuna sandwich & warm beer watching the boys slug it out. I miss the smell of Castrol & brake fluid and hearing the tires whine a bit at the apex. Now it's like watching one big video game. But I'm smart enough to know that I am now a member of the minority, soon to be extinct.

          Saw it coming with the advent of paddle shifters.

  3. TruePost

    All right, here we go!!! Now that MAD MAX has demonstrated he is the best F1 driver around and on his way to the best of all times, let the sportswriters turn the page and crap all over him for not being DIPLOMATIC enough. Why the hell not, Hammy is mostly a distant memory now.

    The excitement generated by a F1 race depends mostly on how it plays out, it's not only about the race track. We've all seen boring, seeminghly prearranged races on circuits all over the world. This one turned out to be all about drivers and racecars, including crap that happens in F1 races. It really was an exciting race with a lot of hoopla around it that had nothing to do with the race and would not have rescued a poor race turnout. The drivers gave it their best AND the stars aligned.

    Max being a genius, I doubt he will make the same chatter mistake twice.

    • ReallyOldRacer

      TP. two things. First, VER is many things, but genius is not one of them. Second, his criticism was not a mistake. He is a 26 yr old kid with an opinion and he put it out there in the sunlight. Point out which of his comments was not based on fact.

  4. shroppyfly

    Castrol R, 2 strokes a flask of tea and cheese butties--the perfect Sunday morning, now even 2 strokes are dissapearing from the Motocross scene, another minority, ill always remember the warning sign the amateur clubs used to hammer into the ground , Warning Motorsport is dangerous , please stay behind the tape, oh i feel so much safer behind that lol, on a more serious note after Sundays race its just 87 or almost 13.5 weeks days till testing, so whats that a 12 holiday for the Dame

    • ReallyOldRacer

      Shrop, I rode one of those ring-a-ding-ding bikes across the No Amer continent. 3400 total miles. 250 cc. Knobby tires, dirt gears, mixing gas & oil, carb adjustments in the Rockies. Ah youth. Never did stay behind the tape.

  5. ReallyOldRacer

    I appreciate VER's talent but I'm not a huge Maxfan. I applaud that he was critical of the spectacle and that he just wants to race & beat the other boys. Yeah, he ran his mouth.....but then he climbed in his racecar and beat the snot out of the competition. Yes, he has the best car and the best team, but he wears it well. Now that his jerkwad father is in the background he is a better frontman for RB. IMO #it wasn't a manhole cover

  6. Susan

    Max has every right to complain. If I had been a driver and treated like a circus act, I’d be torqued as well. Shame on Liberty, it was embarrassing to watch. Tone down the dog and pony shows and maybe spend more time on organization. Treating paying customers like that is beyond the pale. I am generally not in favor of frivolous lawsuits but their treatment was beyond amateurish Giving out vouchers for overpriced merchandise made is worse. Great race in spite of this 3 ring circus. Get your act together Liberty and organizers or there won’t be many in the stands, next year! Let’s not even go there regarding the Elvis attire and ride in the Rolls.tacky beyond words. Very cringe worthy even by Vegas standards.

  7. shroppyfly

    This is all Bullshit , of course he can complain , in the same way golfers complain about the greens, snooker players about the table and footballers about the pitch, all blown up out of proportion, Liberty are playing the deflection card against all the Feck ups that were in charge of, what suits Vegas , isnt what suits the rest of the world and the players, and finally,as Max is , he wont be bothered a jott about the attacks in the press, all he has on his mind is the Fia awards, and this time the Dame may turn up

  8. Susan

    If this nonsense gets out of hand for Max, he may very well say sayonara to F1. Liberty needs to cutback from these spectacles. Rather Lewis shows or not, his presence is only important to him. He is losing popularity with his self serving, pity me attitude. He obviously has no sense of his enviornment. Crying over losing 2 years ago is becoming embarrassing, his complaints about his horrible car, even though, young George seems to be making some headway. His lack of maturity as an adult, is cringeworthy and adolescent. Save your breath, Blo I’ve heard it all before!

    • shroppyfly

      Not fed up with saying it So Well said Susan, little is said about King G just getting on with the job, because Lucy still tries to grab the headlines

      • ReallyOldRacer

        Shrop', agreed re Susan's comments, but most of what she writes is repeating what other posters have previously opined. Perhaps she should tell us how the Mexican crow tastes after her failed PER predictions. Just my opinion. :)

  9. Blo

    Considering the vast amount of money he earns racing against negligible competition you would think he could be more diplomatic. Spoilt brat who sends a sarcastic message to the Stewards for giving him a meaningless penalty while Ferrari face huge costs and penalty’s for something that was not their fault but the fault of an unsecured water tap cover dropped on the track by a RB car directly in front of the Ferrari.
    At least Sir Lewis pretended his races were hard in his day.

  10. Susan

    Whatever! Why is it Max and RBs fault for lack of competition. No one complained when MB didn’t have real competition. Rosberg was LH’s his teammate, same car. Left after winning one championship. That still left 19 other cars. Bottas wanted to be his competitior, same car, but we know how that turned out. Don’t blame someone and a team that clearly is head and shoulders over their competitors. Enjoy watching a true talent, like any spor, who has an exceptional talent. Your reference to Lewis is cringeworthy! So Lewis is a phony but that is ok and long as he says the right words. Come on, Blo, you don’t mean that.
    What happened to Ferrari was outrageous and so was the 10 place penalty but don’t blame Max. He didn’t cause it.

    • ReallyOldRacer

      A British sport, governed in France, with a sandman lead and bankrolled by US funny money.....and international competitors. The question is how there is ever agreement. lol


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