F1 issue apology to Las Vegas locals for huge Grand Prix disruption caused

Jamie Woodhouse
The Las Vegas F1 track pictured at night.

The Las Vegas F1 track pictured at night.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has apologised for the disruption caused to locals in preparation for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, though stressed the anticipated positive impacts of the event.

Formula 1 makes its return to the city of Las Vegas with a Grand Prix brought together by the series itself, an event which has been bolded and highlighted on the F1 2023 calendar for many ever since it was announced.

But, with the construction of a street track taking in the iconic Las Vegas Strip needed to host the Formula 1 action, it has been a hectic nine months to get Las Vegas ready for the task.

Formula 1 apologise to Las Vegas locals

Extensive resurfacing of roads and the building of the pits and paddock, on brownfield land bought by Liberty for $240 million, has been far from ideal for the residents of Las Vegas.

Local resistance to the event has been shown at times, including the tearing apart of privacy films which had been placed to stop people from getting a birds-eye view of the circuit from nearby overhead bridges.

Access to the Strip will be compromised, with the roads used as part of the circuit to begin their shutdown from 1700 local time on each day of track action, then reopening from 2am.

Maffei issued an apology for the disruption caused and thanked the Las Vegas residents for “their willingness to tolerate us”, while stressing that they will benefit from Formula 1’s presence in the long run.

“I want to apologise to all the Las Vegas residents and we appreciate that they have their forbearance and their willingness to tolerate us,” said Maffei.

“We’re going to bring something like $1.7 billion of revenue to the area. So it’s not just for the benefit of fans who want to view. We hope this is a great economic benefit in Las Vegas.

“We hope this is the most difficult year with all the construction that went on and things will be easier in the future.”

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Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm revealed that transportation has been the biggest challenge surrounding the event to manage, revealing temporary bridges for pedestrians and vehicles as part of the measures to keep the city moving during the F1 action.

“I would say the biggest challenge is really just transportation planning,” she told Sky Sports.

“We are essentially encapsulating 60,000 hotel rooms, workers, guests and visitors of Las Vegas. And how do we ensure that we are able to keep traffic moving, keep people moving when the track is hot?

“And in that regard, we have installed three temporary bridges which will allow vehicles to access the interior of the track while we are during race time. And working with the locals hand and glove to figure out how we continue to move the employees and how we get guests into the interior of the track.”

Las Vegas marks the penultimate round of F1 2023, the season concluding in Abu Dhabi on the following weekend.

Read next – Revealed: The team to watch out for at the Las Vegas Grand Prix