Las Vegas Grand Prix ‘will be the biggest event in the world in 2023’

Oliver Harden
An artist impression of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

An artist's impression of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The organisers of the new Las Vegas Grand Prix have vowed that November’s F1 race “will be the biggest event in the world in 2023.”

This year’s calendar contains no fewer than three US-based races after Miami and Austin were joined by a new event in Las Vegas for 2023.

After reigning World Champion Max Verstappen triumphed from ninth on the grid in Florida back in May, the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas – a fixture on the schedule since 2012 – will be held in on October 22, with the Las Vegas round slotted in as the penultimate round of the season a month later on November 18.

Las Vegas Grand Prix predicted to outshine Super Bowl

With this Friday marking the start of the three-month countdown before F1’s first visit to Vegas in the modern era, preparations are ramping up on a circuit which will incorporate a section of the world-famous Strip with a permanent pit-and-paddock facility close to completion.

Speaking at a recent Las Vegas Grand Prix presentation alongside F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali, Steve Hill, the chief executive of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, outlined his excitement for the event.

And he revealed the framework for the race was originally put in place by Domenicali’s predecessor, Chase Carey, back in 2019.

“He came to Vegas and said we’re interested in doing this. I was interested – I wasn’t disinterested – and then they reached back out during the pandemic,” he told Autoweek.

“I started to watch Drive to Survive as kind of homework, I felt like I needed to learn more about this sport. I saw what was there and thought: ‘Wow, this is something.’

I went to Austin in 2021 and you see what that does: it overwhelms Austin, it’s crazy, and it’s out in a field and it’s still such a big event. You see it there and see what that can be to Las Vegas and you think this is going to be something.

“You’re not going to have a bigger event in Las Vegas than F1. We have Super Bowl three months after Formula 1 – Super Bowl, from an execution point of view, is easier because it’s all built. But there’s still a lot to do.

“Most cities don’t try and pull off both those in that period of time. There’s a lot going on in Las Vegas but Formula 1 will stand out.”

Mr Hill offered a glimpse into the challenges of building a leading F1 circuit on the streets of Vegas – and assured locals and fans alike that the organisation of the race will improve in time.

He explained: “We have done most of the paving; the entire circuit has all the initial asphalt lifts laid. When that paving was happening in front of the properties that was pretty disruptive, but it was pretty short, they did sections, so for a couple of weeks it was painful, and it’ll last five or 10 years.

“We’re building a bridge over the circuit right now, over one of our main highways, to make sure we have access to the hotels, it’s a spectacular undertaking. It’s going to get better every year.

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“This year has been a year of building—the track, the construction, a lot of interruption for people. Next year we’ll be able to focus on the guest experience and how to better move people around the city, and improve it overall.”

Vegas’s reputation has led to fears that some fans could be priced out of visiting – but Brian Gullbrants, chief operating officer of Wynn Resorts, among the so-called Founding Partners of the race, insisted all are welcome.

“There’s different levels of hospitality in Vegas, there’s entry-level, mid-tier, luxury, there’s a place for everyone, and everyone is welcome.

“With respect to tickets, F1 has stepped up and has added different levels. It is expensive, but the demand is greater than we’ve seen for any event ever, so it is supply and demand.”

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