Max Verstappen initially disapproved of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, criticizing the excess and prioritization of opulence over racing upon his arrival in Sin City. However, following his 18th win of the season, the three-time reigning Formula One world champion changed his perspective, expressing enjoyment of the race.
As he crossed under the checkered flag waved by Justin Bieber, Verstappen, who had previously slammed the spectacle, sang, “Viva Las Vegas! Viva Las Vegas!” Despite his earlier reservations, he raced in an Elvis-inspired firesuit and clinched victory on the iconic Las Vegas Strip.
Verstappen’s race strategy involved passing Charles Leclerc at the start and overcoming a penalty to make another successful pass with 13 laps remaining, showcasing his season-long dominance. Despite plans to head straight to the nightclub, Verstappen, Leclerc, and Sergio Perez were chauffeured in a limousine to a stage near the Bellagio, where they were surprised with the casino’s renowned fountain show.
The Bellagio fountains, which had been off all week, were restarted as part of the victory celebration. Despite the unexpected treat, the participants appeared disinterested as they stood chatting. Following the trophy presentation, they enjoyed a fireworks display reminiscent of New Year’s Eve over the iconic Las Vegas Strip.