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Hamilton defends F1 Vegas race amid Max Verstappen's criticism

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula One champion, has stepped up to defend the Las Vegas Grand Prix amidst criticism from current world champion Max Verstappen.

Sports Hamilton defends F1 Vegas race amid Max Verstappen's criticism osf
First Published Nov 17, 2023, 7:51 PM IST

Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has come to the defence of the Las Vegas Grand Prix following critiques from current world champion Max Verstappen. Verstappen, of Red Bull, had expressed dissatisfaction, labeling the event as "99 percent show and one percent sporting event," deeming the street track as "not very interesting." Additional concerns were raised by drivers such as McLaren's Lando Norris and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz regarding the extensive commercial commitments required around the race.

Despite the glitzy opening ceremony featuring a drone show and a performance by Australian singer Kylie Minogue, these comments are unlikely to please F1's American owners, Liberty Media, who also serve as promoters for the Vegas race.

However, Hamilton commended the growth of the sport in the United States and praised American investor and Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali.

"I hear there are a lot of people complaining about the direction that Stefano and Liberty has gone. But they are doing an amazing job," said the Mercedes driver.

He acknowledged the buzz surrounding the event, stating, "Everybody I know in Hollywood is coming, and there will be a lot of business going on this weekend."

Hamilton emphasized that despite the differences in atmosphere compared to established classic venues, the Vegas race would offer a unique spectacle.

"We needed to have at least two races in the US, one wasn't enough, and this is one of the most iconic and unique cities that they have here," said the British driver.

Verstappen had criticized the track, expressing his general disinterest in street courses. Hamilton, however, urged withholding judgment until the drivers had experienced the track during practice sessions.

"Maybe the track will be good, and maybe it will be bad. It was so-so on the simulator. But don't knock it until you try it," Hamilton said.

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