Jolyon Palmer lauds “amazing” Verstappen but calls his Las Vegas F1 GP criticism “embarrassing”

Spread the love

Photo Credits: Red Bull Content Pool

Prior to hitting the headlines after his Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix victory, Max Verstappen’s remarks about the Vegas spectacle being “99% show and 1% sporting event” had been making waves. Former F1 racer Jolyon Palmer, feels that the response from Verstappen post-race which saw him singing ‘Viva Las Vegas’ on his team radio makes his pre-race comments and negativity ‘embarrassing’ but there is no doubting the ‘amazing talent’ on show.

Liberty Media have a lot invested in the Las Vegas Grand Prix. There’s a new 300,000-square foot pit building and race hub with start and finish line, pit lane, team garages and hospitality areas. Not only this, but Liberty Media are also the promoters of the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

For this reason, one can assume that the powers be were less than impressed that the sport’s current F1 Drivers’ Champion was so vocal in his dislike of the event. Already, the extravagant opening ceremony was drawing comparisons online with Hunger Games unveiling tributes and this was before Verstappen talked it down further claiming “Monaco is Champions League and this is National League.”

Former F1 racer and now F1 pundit, Jolyon Palmer, reflected on Verstappen’s weekend during the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast and was less than impressed by what he has heard from the three-time F1 Drivers’ Champion in the build-up to it.

“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,” stated Palmer.

Not all race goers may agree with the tremendous success remark – particularly those who saw little to running time at Free Practice 1 and 2 and have since taken out a class action lawsuit. However, there is no doubting that the racing on show on Saturday night was very pleasing to the eye and showed that Las Vegas has earned its place on the calendar in coming years.

There was certainly a lot happening off track in the run up to Saturday evening’s showpiece event and Palmer did admit that the ‘show’ side of the sport is not to everyone’s taste but is a necessary aspect nonetheless particularly in a US market which could be so profitable to F1.

“Sometimes when you have a big event, you have to promote them a little bit. It’s the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, and I know there’s a lot of razzmatazz and I know sometimes the US way of things, the big driver introductions that we’ve had in the past, aren’t always to everyone’s taste.

“But the F1 in the US is booming, two of the last Grand Prix that we’ve had before this year have been great, Austin and then this one. I just think let’s wait until you have the race to 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, if Monaco is Champions League, then this is National League’, and then 50 laps later you’re singing ‘Viva Las Vegas’ in an Elvis suit. Come on,” Palmer commented.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix also showcased the supreme driving ability of Max Verstappen, and this was praised by the former driver turned pundit in his recent BBC podcast remarks.

“Every week, we just see his amazing talent and this race was one where we could witness it. Sometimes you can’t. In Brazil, he’s winning from lights to flag, and he controls it, and there’s a lot of skill going on there, managing the tyres and controlling the pace. But you don’t see him bringing back a position of loss to a victory. Sometimes you do get that.

“Austin was one where he had to start a bit further down and then this one as well. He had a damaged car, he’d already not had a good first stint, he had a damaged car with [George] Russell and then he’s behind his teammate. And [Sergio] Perez was running a really decent race as well in a not damaged Red Bull and Max still managed to pick him off, had better pace and delivered a really decent run to the flag, unchallenged in the end,” Palmer stated.

The praise for the 26-year-old did not stop there as Palmer went on to lavish further comments in Verstappen’s direction.

“He’s just so good! He makes very few mistakes and so many times this year it looks like he might not win and almost always he finds a way.”

There is a very real chance that Max Verstappen will achieve his 19th win of the season in Abu Dhabi at the season finale of the 2023 F1 season. Having secured both titles early on, Red Bull Racing have most likely been able to focus on 2024 much sooner than their rivals. For this reason, one can assume the charging bull with Verstappen at the helm will continue claiming race wins for many more seasons to come.