Las Vegas looking to take on Monaco’s ‘flagship’ GP mantle
Nevada governor Steve Sisolak has set out his ambition for Las Vegas to become the new “flagship” Formula 1 race “within a couple of years”.
Vegas will join the calendar in 2023 to add a third race in the United States, which will take place on the streets of Sin City in a Saturday night grand prix next November.
The place of Monaco as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Formula 1 is ingrained in the identity of the sport, but the lack of overtaking opportunities there presented by the ever-widening cars has led to doubts in some quarters over its continued appeal, with McLaren CEO Zak Brown saying the Principality needs to find a way to widen its track somehow, if it’s to create closer racing again and keep up its commercial appeal.
Drivers have already voiced their general support for a race in Vegas, with Max Verstappen thinking the drivers may need a bit of recovery time from the weekend.
He joked: “Let’s not do back-to-back for this one, let’s give it two weeks’ break before and after!”
Las Vegas has initially agreed a three-year deal with Formula 1 for a place on the schedule, but governor Sisolak already has his eyes set on a higher ambition for the city’s standing within the sport.
In 2017, @danielricciardo and @LewisHamilton were asked what races would be on their wish list 👀
Wait for it…….😉#F1 pic.twitter.com/tdCSkEegL5
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 2, 2022
“We’ve hosted [NFL] drafts and also the Superbowl, but the opportunity to host a Formula 1 race is something, and I predict that this will be the iconic race, the flagship race of F1 within a couple of years,” Sisolak said, per the Metro.
“That is how well this is going to be received so it is a thrill to be here. It is a pretty select company to be one of the cities that has been chosen for this.
“I cannot begin to tell you how important this is,’ Sisolak added. “What happens in Las Vegas, only happens in Las Vegas and we are so looking forward to having this opportunity.
“Adding Formula 1 to Las Vegas underscores what I have been saying for quite a while that Nevada is not only the sports capital of the world, but with Formula 1, it is truly a global sport and we are the entertainment and sports capital of the world here in Las Vegas.
“We are looking at one of the most iconic, famous streets in the world. I can’t wait to see this street with Formula 1 cars travelling at 200 miles per hour down this Las Vegas Strip. It is absolutely amazing.”
F1 explain Saturday night start in Vegas
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has defended the decision for the Saturday night 10pm local start time for the Las Vegas GP.