The triple world champion was the loudest and most outspoken voice against F1’s newest and flashiest race, branding it as “99% show and 1% sporting event” after Wednesday’s glitzy opening ceremony. 

Verstappen went on to express his dissatisfaction with the track itself, describing Monaco as being like the “Champions League and this is National League”. 

But the Red Bull driver ended the weekend singing “Viva Las Vegas” following his record-extending 18th victory from 21 races this season. 

Verstappen’s comments left former Renault F1 driver Jolyon Palmer unimpressed.

“Honestly, some of the comments before this weekend, even during this weekend… The negativity has been embarrassing,” Palmer told the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast.

“Max has been very critical of the event and it’s been a tremendous success. You say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it was delicious. 

“I’ve just said [it was] the best Grand Prix of the year, certainly it’s in the top few and it was a big crowd. Okay, some of the American taste isn’t to everyone, you know big introductions.

“We had that on, what was it now… Wednesday night, the opening ceremony, but I remember when I was racing at Silverstone, all the drivers were mandated to go to London on the Wednesday before to go and do some loop-the-loops up Trafalgar Square, and it was a fun event, but we had to do it.

“And I just think wait until you have the race and 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 fifty laps later you’re singing Viva Las Vegas in an Elvis suit. Come on.”

Lewis Hamilton also appeared to take a subtle swipe at Verstappen by saying the action-packed Vegas race showed critics were “wrong”. 

“I’m really, really happy to have had a positive race and I’m really grateful the race was so good,” Hamilton told Sky. 

“I don’t know how it was as a spectacle for people to watch, but there was so much overtaking.

“It was like Baku – but better. I really wasn’t expecting the track to be so great but the more and more laps you did I just really loved racing it.

“Lots of great overtaking opportunities and I think for all those who were so negative about the weekend, saying it was all about show blah blah blah, I think Vegas proved them wrong.”