Three colours banned on Las Vegas sphere to ease distraction fears

Sam Cooper
The Las Vegas Sphere with McLaren cars projected on it.

The Sphere was first opened in September.

Formula 1 has banned red, yellow and blue from appearing on the Sphere to stop drivers being distracted in Las Vegas.

Formula 1 drivers have often had off-track distractions to deal with, whether that be the marina of Monaco, multiple TV screens or a 900-year-old castle wall in Baku.

But Las Vegas poses a different challenge with a 366-foot tall ball of LED pucks parked right next to the edge of the circuit.

F1 limits Las Vegas Sphere colour usage

Even before F1 touched down, the Sphere became a subject of discussion considering it is usually used for hosting concerts or massive projections of emojis.

For a driver, it would be very distressing to have such bright images so close to you on the circuit but Formula 1 has sought to ease that problem by preventing certain colours from appearing while the cars are in action.

Red, yellow and blue will not be displayed on the Sphere which is made up of 1.2 million LED lights.

Those three colours have been chosen as they are used on the LED trackside panels to provide information regarding the circuit conditions during a race. Red denotes a return to the pits, yellow a potential hazard up ahead while blue signals a quicker car is coming to lap you.

As for what the drivers think, AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo was not concerned.

“It’s very obvious, it’s huge and we’re not going to miss it,” he said. “But truthfully when you get in that kind of rhythm and that zone you’re aware of everything but you don’t really notice it.

“I got to my hotel yesterday and it was only this morning that I noticed these massive pieces of art on the wall.

“I didn’t even see them because yesterday I went straight to the room, straight to the bed.

“My attention and my focus was there so I wasn’t even aware of the other things in the room. So it’s a little bit like that.”

Williams’ Logan Sargeant suggested it would go one of two ways.

“It’s either going to be really cool or really annoying,” he said. recommends

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“Honestly, I’m not sure. It’s really bright. I think it depends on what they would put on it.

“If it’s something extremely bright, then maybe it’d be a bit too much. But if it’s something a bit more subtle, I think that would be fine.”

Meanwhile Verstappen joked that he could “shunt into the wall” if the organisers made the wrong choice.

“I hope they put something nice on it,” said Verstappen. “That definitely would be a distraction for me, I might shunt into the wall so let’s not do that.”

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