The reigning Formula One world champion will begin Saturday night's race - the first in Sin City for four decades - sitting second behind pole-sitter Charles Leclerc, with a dominant Ferrari one-two in qualifying spoiled by a contentious 10-place grid penalty for Carlos Sainz.
The Spaniard received the sanction after several power unit components on his SF-23 car needed to be changed following damage caused by a loose drain cover in Friday's farcical opening practice session that was abandoned after only nine minutes.
Sainz had already used his allotted quota of two energy stores for the season, with a third triggering an automatic penalty as stewards denied Ferrari's request for a 'derogation of the sporting regulations' to replace the energy store again without punishment given the nature of how the damage was sustained.
It was the worst possible start to the much-hyped return of F1 to Las Vegas, with the second practice session heavily delayed due to manhole covers around the track being investigated and repaired where necessary, eventually not finishing until 4am local time in front of empty grandstands as fans were vacated at 1:30am “due to logistical circumstances”.
While Saturday's qualifying session - which finished at just after 1am - was completed without incident in front of 90,000 fans as Leclerc went fastest, Friday's chaos has only served to increase scepticism regarding the whole event.
Verstappen has been arguably the most high-profile and outspoken critic of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, complaining that he felt like a "clown" during Wednesday's glitzy opening ceremony as he said the race was "99 per cent show and 1 per cent sporting event", also insisting that the 3.8-mile, 17-turn street circuit that goes down the famous Las Vegas Strip and passes iconic hotels like Caesars Palace, the Bellagio and the Venetian was not very exciting or interesting.
The three-time reigning F1 world champion has seen nothing to change his mind since then, insisting that the Vegas race could not hold a candle to some of the sport's most iconic events as he compared it to the fifth tier of English football.
“Monaco is Champions League… this is National League," he said.
Verstappen also voiced his frustration at the fans in Las Vegas, insisting the majority had just come for the show without an understanding of racing.
"Of course I understand the fans. They need something to do as well around a track," he said. "But I think it is more important you actually make them understand what we do as sport.
"Most of them just come to have a party, drink, see a DJ play or watch a performance act. I can do that all over the world, go to Ibiza and get really s**t-faced but that's what happens.
"They don't actually understand what we are doing or what we are putting on the line."
Verstappen also spoke out on the controversial penalty given to Sainz, telling reporters: "The rules have to change for that. It's the same if you get taken out and have a big accident. You can lose parts of engine, energy store, all these kind of things.
"They don't actually understand what we are doing or what we are putting on the line"
"So, first of all, that needs to change and these things can be taken into consideration that you can take a free penalty or not, it will not be counted.
"Besides, I think teams should not be allowed to have a say in these kind of things because for sure they are going to vote against that.
"I do think it's very harsh on Carlos but in this political environment we are in of course every team thinks about themselves and they are going to say 'no, he has to take the penalty'."