Jos Verstappen has revealed that he told his son Max Verstappen to calm down his negative comments about the Las Vegas Grand Prix over the weekend. The reigning world champion had been extremely vocal in his criticisms of the track layout and the decision to come racing on the streets of Las Vegas in the first place.
This weekend was far from a happy vacation for Verstappen, who had been picking holes in the event for weeks leading up to the race. His major criticisms boiled down to what he described as an uninspiring track design, as well as the opening ceremony and added extras that the organisers had filtered in to drum up the spectacle element.
Such vocal opposition to the most hotly anticipated race of the year naturally raised some eyebrows in the F1 community and while many supported the sentiment behind his comments, others, including the likes of Martin Brundle, suggested that the current world champion should be more supportive of the sport’s organisers.
Discussing his son’s comments with De Telegraaf, Jos said: “I do think he can say things, but in this case in a neater way. I told him that directly. 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.”
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These comments were echoed by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who told the Dutch newspaper: “Max is very straightforward, perhaps could have said things a bit more diplomatically, but has now made up for everything.
“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.”
While the off-track commitments were clearly a hassle, there was plenty to smile about after the race. Verstappen got the better of team-mate Sergio Perez and polesitter Charles Leclerc in the latter stages to take his 18th win of the season in style.
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