Nico Rosberg believes the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be a “great success” for Formula 1 for the next 10 years after the inaugural event last weekend.
The race proved to be one of the more exciting of the season with a three-way battle for first and making some forget the difficulties it took in getting it on the calendar.
Rosberg is one of those in favour of the event, saying he knew from the moment he tried it on the sim it would be “an awesome track.”
Nico Rosberg makes bold Las Vegas precision amidst Max Verstappen criticism
Heading into Saturday’s race, the feeling was rather sour around the event with a nightmare Thursday and constant criticism from some sections.
But the race itself went some way to turning things around and there is optimism that this could become one of the better circuits in the F1 calendar.
That was certainly how Rosberg saw it.
“It was a three way fight, and between Ferrari and Red Bull and then at the back also, so much was going on,” Rosberg told the Daily Mail. “The track was great for overtaking, high speed.
“So I think it was another great success for the sport. Interesting business case, also for the sport, because it’s the first time that they actually are the promoter themselves and it’s not a local promoter. So they’ve taken a lot of money in the hands to build up the venue, to be the promoter for the next 10 years.
“Of course, when you go somewhere for the first time, there’s always going to be some challenges, but all in all, it was one of the most exciting races of the year.
“That’s the key to every [successful race], is that it’s really entertaining, unpredictable, because you had no idea who was going to win the race.
“From the get go, it looked like an awesome track. Because it’s all about battles and overtaking – and we saw that. Even the fight for second place, changing positions there with an incredible daring overtake on the last lap, like two corners from the end.
“That’s what we want to see. And that’s quite unique because you don’t have that often. So I think they nailed it with the track layout… I think it’s going to be one of the great races for the next ten years. A must see on the calendar.”
Rosberg believes that even the race’s most vocal opponent had warmed to the event come the chequered flag.
“It had everything so that even the drivers, even the most outspoken critic like Verstappen, became a super fan of the Las Vegas Grand Prix by the end of it.
“[He was] so open minded that he could change his opinion in such a sense and really be convinced otherwise, that actually it’s an awesome race weekend.”
As for the wider improvement of F1’s US popularity, Rosberg said it was “amazing” to see the country embrace the sport.
“It’s amazing how the country of the USA is embracing our sport now, which is not how it used to be in my time. It’s really amazing to watch and what a great success it has been this first inaugural Vegas Grand Prix weekend.”