Nov.18 (GMM) Max Verstappen’s boss and manager both defended the triple world champion amid his bad mood in Las Vegas.
The Dutchman has been scathing of the “99 percent show, 1 percent sport” in the American casino capital.
And after finally completing the day’s disrupted track action in the middle of the night with no spectators in the stands, he insisted: “I didn’t have much fun today.”
“I’ve driven better circuits in my life. I already said this yesterday and there’s nothing new I’ve discovered,” Verstappen said. “But we move on.”
Former F1 driver and fellow Dutchman Giedo van der Garde said the 26-year-old Red Bull driver is simply frustrated with the artificial “show” aspects of the spectacle.
“All he wants to do is drive laps, win the race and go home,” he said on Viaplay.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agrees: “He hates all the pomp and hype. He just wants to drive a racing car. He doesn’t care about the fame and everything that comes with it.
“All these show business elements here just make him uncomfortable,” he added.
Verstappen’s manager Raymond Vermeulen, meanwhile, admitted his driver is also exhausted at the end of a long season in which the title is already wrapped up.
“Max is pure, true to himself and he just says what he thinks,” he told De Telegraaf. “I think we should cherish that someone of his stature is like that.
“Remember, these are still drivers, not actors. Max just feels very uncomfortable with all of this. And I also think that a lot of people – perhaps not everyone – appreciate his down-to-earth nature.”
Manager Vermeulen continued: “I notice that Max’s batteries are almost empty. And not just him but many people in the team.
“All the travelling and the time differences have an impact.”
Vermeulen explained that Max flew from “Brazil to England” for simulator training, was in France on Friday for sponsor EA Sports, Switzerland on Saturday and on the way to Las Vegas on Monday “where the PR machine started on Tuesday morning”.
“We come home on Monday and then another PR day awaits in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday in the run-up to the last race,” the Red Bull driver’s manager continued.
“After the race there will be trips to Tokyo for Honda, Amsterdam with Heineken, the FIA awards ceremony in Baku and an event with Red Bull in England. Then it’s almost Christmas and on January 15 his trainer will be at the door again.
“That’s not easy for a 26 year old boy,” Vermeulen added. “It is true that he earns a lot of money from it, but it is not just about money.”