Max Verstappen says Las Vegas GP is 1 percent sport, 99 percent show

Hamilton and Russell race on Speedvegas track ahead of Las Vegas GP (2:03)

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell visit the Speedvegas track and share their expectations ahead of the Las Vegas GP. (2:03)

LAS VEGAS -- Max Verstappen has labelled this weekend's Las Vegas Grand Prix as "99 percent show and one percent sporting event" following Wednesday's opening ceremony at the street circuit.

The race, which will take place on Saturday evening, has been likened to the Super Bowl by Formula One executives, who are also the promoters of the event.

Hype leading up to race weekend culminated in an opening ceremony on Wednesday night, headlined by Kylie Minogue and John Legend.

The drivers were then presented in front of the main grandstand on five stages lining the pit straight.

"For me, you can skip this," Verstappen said of the ceremony. "We are just standing up there, looking like a clown. I mean, yeah..."

Asked if he'd shared his opinions on the race with F1, Verstappen said: "I don't know, I guess they still make money if I like it or not, so it's not up to me!

"But I'm also not going to fake it, I just always voice my opinion on positive things and negative things. That's just how I am.

"Some people like the show a bit more, I don't like it at all. I grew up just looking at the performance side of things and that's how I see it as well. So for me, I like to be in Vegas, but not so much for racing."

Verstappen went on to say that he did not expect F1 to react to drivers' opinions of the race, good or bad.

"We are not a stakeholder, so we just go with it," he added. "They decide what they do, right?

"I would do the same if I was the owner, I wouldn't listen to the drivers. It's my sport, I would do with it what I want if that would be the case."

The three-time world champion doesn't hold much hope for the quality of the racing around the new 3.8-mile street circuit, which features a 1.2-mile straight along Las Vegas' famous Strip.

"There's not many corners to be honest... I don't know," he said. "It also will depend a bit probably on how grippy it is. Doesn't look like it has a lot of grip, but we'll go with the flow.

"I don't think it's that exciting, that's the only thing. I think already for me a street circuit is not that exciting, especially with these new cars, they are just too heavy.

"When you have low grip that doesn't help. The scenery will look great, driving through the strip, but the layout itself is not the most exciting.

"Driving an F1 car is a lot more fun with a lot of high-speed corners, but around here there is not many high-speed corners."