Sin City returns to Formula 1 after 40 years. With the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix, the US adds a third race this season.
In 2023, Las Vegas will be the third Grand Prix to be held in the USA, alongside races in Miami, FL and Austin, TX. The interest in Formula 1 in the USA seems to be higher than ever, thanks to social media and improved marketing of the sport. Drive to Survive definitely had a huge impact on spreading the sport in America.
After the Miami Grand Prix was a huge success for Formula 1, it was clear: Las Vegas would be the next step. The idea is that Las Vegas could be the next Monaco. With its spectacular ride down the Las Vegas Strip with famous hotels like Caesars Palace and the Bellagio, the city is an absolute showcase piece at night. Therefore it was obvious – Vegas would be a night race.
Despite Las Vegas being probably the most glamorous race ever, fans have a lot of controversial thoughts on a 3rd Grand Prix in America.
Still can’t believe Miami and Las Vegas are on the calendar and @sepangcircuit hasn’t been brought back should prioritise decent tracks rather than celebrity days out #f12023
— Ross 🏴🇪🇺 (@Ross_T_92) January 9, 2023
The Caesars Palace Grand Prix
In 1981 and 1982, Formula 1 raced in Las Vegas. The “E” shaped track was built in a parking lot behind the Caesars Palace hotel. Looking back, the circuit was not entertaining and had many problems. The track was not popular and was deemed boring by both the drivers and the fans. Therefore, the race would only attract tiny crowds, meaning the profit was almost non-existing both for F1 and the Vegas casino. Former racing driver John Watson stated:
“You had this totally flat ground and three-foot high concrete barriers so you had very little sense of reference points. It was probably the least appealing Grand Prix circuit I think I’ve ever raced on.”
Due to the boring layout, the Caesars Palace Grand Prix Circuit was eventually removed from the race calendar after the 1982 season.
Formula 1 Returns
In 2023, Las Vegas will finally return to F1 and with it a far more exciting layout than the previous iteration. The new track will be 6.12 kilometers long and consist of 17 corners, three main straights, and two DRS zones. Drivers are expected to reach a speed of up to 212 mph / 324 kph.
The 1981 Caesars Palace GP and the 2023 Las Vegas GP together. from formula1
The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix schedule
For the first time since the 1985 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, an F1 Grand Prix will take place on a Saturday rather than a Sunday. It will be the fourth night race of the year, taking full advantage of the lights along the famous Las Vegas Strip. As a result of the Saturday race, the FIA has revealed a very unusual and unique schedule.
PST (Pacific Standard Time) -> local time:
- FP1: Thursday -> 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
- FP2: Thursday -> 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm
- FP3: Friday -> 6:30 pm – 07:30 pm
- Qualifying: Friday -> 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm
- Race: Saturday -> 10:00 pm
CET (Central European Time):
- FP1: Friday -> 03:30 am – 4:30 am
- FP2: Friday -> 07:00 am – 8:00 am
- FP3: Saturday -> 03:30 am – 4:30 am
- Qualifying: Saturday -> 07:00 am – 8:00 am
- Race: Sunday -> 07:00 am
The Grand Prix will end around midnight local time. And while the race will take advantage of Saturday night on the Vegas Strip, it’s not ideal for the US market and TV figures. The Grand Prix will start at midnight on the East Coast, concluding around 2 am in the morning. But the late time does allow the European market to watch the race live, even if they will have to wake up early and experience how the majority of the American market experiences most F1 races.