The wait is almost over after so many months of wondering what it will look like to see the world’s best racing cars here on the busy Las Vegas Strip.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix is a planned Formula One Grand Prix due to form part of the 2023 Formula One World Championship, with the event taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States, on a temporary street circuit including the Las Vegas Strip.
It seems to be a big, impossible challenge, revamping one of the most well-known streets in the world the Las Vegas Strip, into a racing circuit. But the inaugural Formula 1 Heineken Silver Vegas Grand Prix, set for Nov.16 to 18th, is hustling to do just that in a $560 million civil-planning and engineering feat underway before the track goes hot within a few hours.
The F1 World Championships season consists of a series of races, known as the Grand Prix, held usually on purpose-built-in circuits and, in a few cases, on closed city streets.But it is going live in the busy streets of Las Vegas, with enough modifications and protections erected in the brightly lighted streets inside the city itself.
Have you ever heard names like Michele Alboreto, John Watson, Eddie Cheever, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, Derek Daly, Marc Surer, Andrea de Cesaris, Niki Lauda, Derek Warwick, Elio de Angelis, Mario Andretti; they are all legends in the grand prix car racing challenges.
Of course, you might have heard of Lewis Hamilton, who holds the record for the most race wins in Formula One history, with 103 wins to date. Michael Schumacher, the previous record holder, is second with 91 wins, and Sebastian Vettelis, third with 53 victories.
You might wonder about the prize money for the winner of the F1 race.To put this in perspective, Mercedes’ win as ‘constructors’ champion in 2020 saw them take home $135 million, while Aston Martin – known as Racing Point at the time – took home $60 million for finishing last, which, as you can see was less than half of Mercedes’ winnings.
F1 is returning to Las Vegas for the first time since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, with an all-new circuit twisting through some of the city’s most famous landmarks set to provide thrilling scenes under the lights.
The new Las Vegas Grand Prix has strong support from the state and local government and will be held at night on a course awash in neon lights and before a crowd of up to 100,000 each day of the weekend. Pook estimates that 20,000 to 25,000 people attended the inaugural Caesars Palace Grand Prix for comparison’s sake.
Tickets were priced at roughly $2,000 a year ago for the Las Vegas race. Prices for practice on Thursday and qualifying races on Friday have also dropped dramatically. The current price dropped about 50% from $385 to $180 for Thursday and on Friday.
Vegas track has 17 corners, is one of the three longest in Formula One, and has one of the lengthiest straights: nearly 1.2 miles along Las Vegas Boulevard, aka the Strip. Drivers are expected to reach a top speed of 212 mph, running around in 50 laps. But those are just specs. What makes it unique is the location, The Las Vegas Strip.
The CEO of F1’s parent company issued a public apology to Las Vegas for the many challenges its residents have tolerated and endured on the road to bringing the Las Vegas Grand Prix to the city by this weekend. There will be 105,000 people, so the sheer scale of it, even for Las Vegas, will be the most significant event Las Vegas will have, said Greg Maffei.
And that is not just the race crowd itself, as thousands are expected to visit Las Vegas next week to be a part of the race experience, even if they don’t have tickets to the event.
Just after the event, these roads will have to be repainted for normal traffic patterns.Thousands of temporary lights will have to be dismantled. A three-story huge grandstand across from the Bellagio fountain will be dismantled as well.
(Dr. Mathew Joys, is an accredited journalist and columnist contributing to English and Malayalam media. He is the GIC Global Media Chair and Director of Indo American Press Club.)