2023 will be a massive year for Formula One as they return to Las Vegas for the first time since 1982. It is a massive moment for Formula One, so let us take a look at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Unsurprisingly there is not a huge amount of history with Las Vegas in Formula One as the series has not raced in Vegas for the last 40 years. There have been two races held in Las Vegas in Formula One history.
In 1981, Formula One headed to Las Vegas for the first time to race around the temporary track that was based around the Caesars Palace hotel. The track was created on the parking lot of the hotel and was a very quick track. The Vegas track was designed for overtaking, but it was very stressful for drivers.
The intense heat tested the drivers and Alan Jones came out the victor. The 1982 race was also part of the Formula One championship as well as being the last time that Formula One raced at Caesars Palace.
Alain Prost put his Renault on pole, four tenths faster than his Renault teammate. But Prost could not keep that pace during the race as his tyres wore quickly in the intense heat of Las Vegas. Prost ended the race in fourth, with the Tyrell of Michele Alboreto finishing as the winner. Keke Rosberg secured his first and only Formula One World Championship.
The issue with the race was that it was held in very hot temperatures. It made the conditions pretty awful for drivers and spectators alike. This was part of the reason why the race drew small crowds in both 1981 and in 1982. The lack of spectators meant that the hotel actually lost money on the race.
Both parties were clear it was not profitable and Las Vegas decided to withdraw from the championship from 1983 onwards. The race continued as part of the CART series in 1983 and 1984 before the area was used for urban development.
Formula One in the USA
Despite F1 leaving Las Vegas after 1982, the series still has a long history in the USA. F1 has been racing in the USA since 1959, although the venue has changed a few times. Since 2012 the United States Grand Prix has been held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
But this is not the only race on the calendar in the USA. In 2022, F1 raced in Miami for the first time. It means that in 2023 there will be three races in the USA, something that Formula One has never done before. It is a sign of F1 looking to exploit the US market which has taken more of a liking to Formula One thanks in part to the Netflix series Drive To Survive.
At the moment, we are only basing this section off of the plans for the Las Vegas Grand Prix track as we are yet to see it in full. That is because it will be a temporary track. The track looks like it will be one of the fastest on the Formula One calendar as there are a lot of long straights, as well as 16 corners.
Beginning on the Koval Lane straight, a lot of the corners will take their name from hotels and attractions that they are based around. In sector one, the track sweeps through the Sands Avenue as well as going past the Wynn Hotel. The back straight is set to be the longest in Formula One.
It will take the cars down the Las Vegas Strip which is a flat out 1.92km section with a slight sweeping left corner. The Harmon avenue straight gives drivers another chance to overtake before a couple of fast corners return the drivers to the start/finish straight.
The track should encourage a lot of overtaking as there are a huge amount of fast corners and a lot of straights. Hopefully the track will be wide enough to allow overtakes as this has been an issue with other street circuits.