Lewis Hamilton described an entertaining Las Vegas Grand Prix as "one of the best races" of the season after heavy pre-race criticism, including from Max Verstappen.
Prior to the weekend, World Champion Verstappen said he believed the event was "99% for the show, 1% sporting event" and that he felt "like a clown" during the opening ceremony.
These concerns were added to following the practice incidents where a loose water valve cover destroyed Carlos Sainz's Ferrari and Esteban Ocon's Alpine, with FP2 being delayed by two-and-a-half hours and with fans being sent home before the on-track running resumed.
However, the race itself featured 82 on-track overtakes, the second most of the season after the Dutch Grand Prix, and had five changes for the lead.
Hamilton finished seventh after recovering from a puncture after contact with Oscar Piastri, and felt the race had done more than enough to be considered a success.
Viewed by others:
Hamilton dismisses Verstappen
"The race was great, it was one of the best races," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.
"So many people, all the media, everyone’s been so negative about this race and about the show and all that, [we needed] to just let it be and see how it [went].
"[It was a] great race, it was like Baku, but better."
"There’s been a lot of negativity about having three Grands Prix in the United States and people are talking about bringing back the old classic races from Europe.
"This has provided a better race than most of the tracks we go to.
"I think really hats off to the people that run the show and I can’t wait to come back and hopefully have a better race here next year.
"Vegas put on a great event. Next year is going to be even better, now we’ve gone through it and there’ll be loads of learnings. I'm really grateful for Vegas for having us."
As for Verstappen, he softened his stance on the race following his win, adding that his gripes around the race were never about the track itself.
"I always expected it to be a good race, it was just - like I said before – four long straights, low speed corners and you don't lose a lot of downforce," he said.
"So that has never been my issue. That's the only thing I want to say about it; I think today was fun. I hope everyone enjoyed it."