Sky Sports commentator David Croft may have riled Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton up by repeating a fan comment in front of the seven-time world champion at F1’s Las Vegas launch party.
The first F1 race since 1982 will take place at Las Vegas in November next year and Liberty Media seems to have spared no cost in advertising the location to its fullest capacity already.
The recent demo runs that have been made across the Las Vegas strip have been done precisely for this reason.
The race is being primed to rival the iconic Monaco Grand Prix in terms of the glitz and glamour that will be on display.
Given images from the demo run and the fact that Las Vegas is the ‘entertainment capital of the world’, it is likely that it will be a night race where the vibrant colours of the strip will be reflected on the car’s chassis.
From a spectacle point of view, it promises to be truly special and if there’s a race that can match the visual appeal of the circuit, F1 fans will be in for a real treat.
The tickets are exorbitantly priced as one may expect, with £440 the cheapest mode of entry for spectators.
Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen all took part in demo runs as Liberty Media tried its best to garner some early interest in the race.
Following these demo runs, Croft conducted an interview with the three drivers.
An awkward moment came about when Croft began his line of questioning to the drivers, following his question of whether it would be “the coolest place” to win a world crown.
For some reason, Croft decided to repeat a comment from one of the fans which brought about an uncomfortable smile from Hamilton.
“This could also be the title decider as well, would it be the coolest place to win a world title here on the Vegas strip in the entertainment capital of the world?” Croft asked Russell, Hamilton and Perez.
“Well, this guys got seven of them so he can probably tell you more,” Russell said, hinting towards Hamilton.
How did Hamilton react?
The presenter and all three drivers remained silent for a moment after this comment, with fans shouting loudly.
Croft then broke the silence by saying, “someone’s saying he won eight”.
The Vegas crowd broke into laughter as they hoped Croft’s banter would get some sort of a response from Hamilton.
The seven-time world champion took some time before stoically answering, “The party would be the best here [if a driver won the title in Las Vegas]”.
Hamilton’s “eighth” world championship has been a contentious topic in F1, with many believing that a controversial call from Michael Masi last season “robbed” him of the elusive world crown as Max Verstappen went on to win his maiden title.
At the time, Hamilton immediately said that the race had been “manipulated”, before taking a complete hiatus from social media in the aftermath of the event.
Had the rules been followed correctly by Masi, who was subsequently sacked by the FIA for his “human error”, Hamilton may well have gone on to claim a record eight world championship.
As things panned out, however, Verstappen has gone on to claim back-to-back world championships.