F1 Las Vegas hype builds: ‘People don’t realise how cool Vegas is going be’

Sam Cooper
A rendering of the Formula 1 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

A rendering of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Lando Norris has upped the hype levels for the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix by saying people do not realise “how cool” the race will be.

F1 arrives in Vegas for the first time in 39 years as the Strip plays host to possibly the most glamorous race in Formula 1 history later this year.

With the race first being announced in March 2022, F1 fans have been cautiously optimistic about what to expect from the street race which will serve as the penultimate event in this season’s schedule.

One man who does need much convincing though is McLaren’s Norris, who is already excited about the prospect of racing one of the most famous streets in the world.

“I just don’t think people realise just how cool it’s going to be,” Norris told Sky Sports F1. “Like, you’re driving in the streets of Vegas. Everyone knows Vegas, you’ve seen it in movies and the stories or whatever, everyone kind of knows of it.

“So just the fact it’s [the Strip’s] getting closed down just for us to go and race, it’s just such a cool thing to think of. So I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve never been to Vegas. I’ve been in and out of Vegas many years ago, I had to go and do an event. But I didn’t get to see anything. I just went in and out. So this is my first proper time going to Vegas.”

While the paddock area is still being built, the track design has already been released with the long straight of the Strip taking place between Turns 13 and 14. Norris, who like all the drivers will be going in fresh come November, predicted it will make for a good qualifying and good race track.

“The layout, it looks odd just on a piece of paper when you see the track layout but I think it’s going to be a good qualifying track, a good race track, most of all, which is only something to look forward to,

“For us, if it’s a good race track and you can look forward to a Sunday that you can go out and race no matter if you’re first or last, those are the places you look forward to the most in a way, and then it’s in Vegas, so double whammy.”

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Norris had an early taste of what the Vegas experience may be like when he tried out a preview version of the new F1 23 game. Asked if that would help him when it comes to the real thing, Norris said time in McLaren’s sim would be much more useful.

“I think by the time it comes, we’ll also have it on the actual simulator,” Norris said. “I think we might even have it already, whether it’s scanned or not or whether it’s just like a best guess of what it’s going to be like, but it helps massively.

“First of all, it helps set up the car. It says to me what at least a good ballpark to kind of start with this car, the car setup and secondly, I think just for your standard reference points, whether it’s using a 100 metre board somewhere or a 50 metre board or avoiding certain bumps, there’s always things that you learned from it.

“So 100% it helps compared to someone who didn’t do it. It’s a fact they’ll be things that you know that other people might not if they haven’t done it.”