Las Vegas is back on the Formula 1 calendar, though this time it’s with an exciting street circuit layout that includes the famous Strip, as motorsport meets entertainment for the ultimate spectacle. Here’s what to expect from F1’s latest addition…
Vegas is back!
After more than 40 years, Formula 1 is heading back to one of the world’s most famous cities – Las Vegas. Last time F1 headed to the Silver City, back in 1981 and 1982, the circuit was built entirely in the car park of the famous Caesars Palace casino.
The circuit was a huge physical challenge, in part because of its anti-clockwise layout and the searing heat. This time, Vegas has gone bigger and better and is taking Formula 1 to its streets – and that includes a 2km stretch of track running down the famous Strip.
Nestled in the Mojave Desert and surrounded by epic mountain ranges, the American resort city will feature a spectacular 6.12km street circuit that weaves its way through the city.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix will be a night race, allowing the city to come alive with its oasis of glittering lights to deliver a visual spectacle.
Every night is party night in Vegas, but Saturday is the showpiece, so it’s fitting that the Grand Prix will uniquely take place then, allowing race goers to watch the world’s best going wheel to wheel before kicking on their night with a visit to a casino, drinks at a rooftop bar or some late-night shopping.
That means everything will happen a day earlier than usual, with qualifying on Friday and practice on Thursday. Expect the drivers to get there early to adjust to the time zone and get some downtime. It’s highly likely you’ll see them on the golf course over at the Wynn, or perhaps out in the desert on some quad bikes.
The race will be an assault on the drivers’ senses, as they blast directly by famous hotels like the Venetian, Caesars Palace and the Bellagio – with its iconic fountain – along the Strip.
At the end of the 2km stretch you’ll find the best overtaking opportunity for drivers, braking hard into a left-hander. There are two other straights, a high-speed corner sequence and a chicane to spice things up.
As you’d expect with a city high in traffic, the roads are bumpy. But ahead of the race, the layout will be resurfaced to iron out those creases. Though it’s a street circuit, and they’ll be racing down one side of the Strip to avoid taking out the central reservation, the track will still be around 12-15m wide, meaning there’ll be plenty of space for cars to get alongside each other in the fight for position.
Designers produced 31 different layout variations before agreeing on the final version – a spectacular 14-turn high-speed design that will have a high average speed and require teams to bring their low downforce Monza/Spa-spec aerodynamic packages. It’s going to be fast and furious.