Formula 1 drivers will be taking on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit for the first time next weekend; world champion Max Verstappen says he has lots of learning to do before the event; watch the inaugural Las Vegas GP on November 17-19, with every session live on Sky Sports F1
Last Updated: 09/11/23 6:11am
Max Verstappen has admitted he has plenty of learning to do ahead of next weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix as Formula 1’s drivers prepare to take on the spectacular all-new circuit.
Having sealed his third successive drivers’ title, Verstappen heads to the United States for the penultimate race of the season looking to claim a record-extending 18th victory of the campaign.
Verstappen has hardly put a foot wrong during what could go down as the most dominant season the sport has ever seen, but the Dutchman has revealed that his virtual experience of the Las Vegas Strip Circuit was a challenging one.
Speaking after winning the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil, Verstappen said: “There’s still a lot to do.
“I still need to go on the simulator. I still don’t even know the track, to be honest.
“The last time I tried it on the F1 game, I think I hit more walls than I was going straight. So, let’s hope that’s not the case when I start driving there!”
Anticipation for the showpiece event has been building throughout the season, with expected cool evening temperatures only set to add to the drama.
The forecast is for temperatures to be as low as 10 degrees Celsius when the cars take to the track for the evening sessions, which Verstappen thinks could cause some “surprises”.
“It’s going to be very different to here, very low temperatures, of course in the night there,” he said.
“It’s a street circuit, we have no experience there, we don’t know the track grip.
“All new – so maybe it will give you a few surprises. I don’t know.”
Norris: No one knows what Vegas order will be
McLaren’s Lando Norris, who has been Verstappen’s nearest challenger over the second half of the season, shares his rival’s opinion that predicting a Vegas pecking order ahead of the event will be near impossible.
After McLaren started the season in shambles, mid-season upgrades delivered a remarkable turnaround that has enabled Norris to finish on the podium in five of the last six races.
“I don’t think we were expecting to be as competitive here (in Brazil) as we have been,” Norris said after finishing second to Verstappen in the Sao Paulo GP.
“So we’re still surprising ourselves. I gave up on guessing where we’re going to be nowadays. I mean, probably after Bahrain I didn’t want to think of where we’re going to be, but yeah, it comes and goes.
“I think everyone expected Mercedes to be extremely strong this weekend and they were nowhere. [Everyone] expected Ferrari to be a bit more competitive and weren’t, so I think no one really knows.
“Everyone just guesses and presumes but no one knows until we just get on track. So just let’s wait and see.”
Get ready for the big one: Formula 1 in Las Vegas! See drivers race down the Strip, and past landmarks like Caesars Palace and the Bellagio, on F1’s newest street track. Watch the whole Las Vegas GP weekend live on Sky Sports F1 on November 17-19. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW