Martin Brundle has described the Las Vegas Grand Prix and the bullet F1 dodged in Nevada as his highlight of the 2023 season.
After years of anticipation, Formula 1’s Las Vegas excursion got off to the worst possible start when Carlos Sainz ran over a loose water valve cover, terminally damaging his car and causing a lengthy delay to proceedings.
But to the surprise of many, the race itself was an exciting one with the cold temperatures and new layout proving to be a challenge for the drivers.
Martin Brundle recalls Las Vegas Grand Prix drama
As he did 18 other times this season, Max Verstappen would prove victorious in Sin City but it was not the easiest race of his year with four different drivers in the lead at one point during the 50-lap race.
But the race helped to correct a lot of sour feelings and while the sport’s reaction to the FP1 incident that left many fans out of pocket having been kicked out before FP2, with a $200 merchandise voucher their compensation, the race did at least show a successful sporting spectacle was possible.
“Standing alongside the track in FP2 at quarter to four in the morning,” Brundle recalled on Sky Sports. “Talking about F1 cars that were flashing past me with nobody in the grandstands. Honestly, I thought that evening, Formula 1 was really going to fall over and have an awful weekend.
“And then because this circuit was so fast, so slippery, we had 82 position changes, six lead changes and I thought a really thrilling grand prix that could have looked a little bit better on the TV actually but overall, we dodged the bullet on Thursday and had an amazing race on Saturday.”
Naomi Schiff joined Brundle on the show and highlighted a different race as her moment of the season.
“Gosh, it’s a tough one to think back to all those races, 22 of them now,” the former W Series driver said. “I think one that stands out for me that I actually attended was Zandvoort.
“I think the beginning of that race, it seemed like they were trying to do everything they possibly could to stop Max Verstappen winning when it comes to weather, ever-changing conditions.
“The beginning of that race, I think that’s a memory that I have from this year. That was great.”