Las Vegas F1 street track artists impressions

Alonso surprised by ultra-fast, “all straights” Las Vegas track layout

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso expected Formula 1’s Las Vegas track layout to be “much slower” than the design it revealed.

In brief

Las Vegas will be “super fast” – Alonso

Alonso says the Las Vegas street track F1 will race on for the first time next year is a much quicker layout than he expected.

“It’s going to be super fast,” he remarked in a video released by Alpine. “I thought it was much slower.”

The 6.1-kilometre layout, which was revealed by F1 last month, includes 14 turns, but many of those are expected to be taken flat-out. Cars will hit top speed on The Strip, where drivers will keep the throttle open for almost two uninterrupted kilometres.

“I’m surprised about the speed that you will get on those,” said Alonso. “I thought it was more like Baku, the style, with a lot of corners and maybe one long straight. But this is all straights.”

Las Vegas street circuit for 2023 F1 race - track map with corner numbers
Las Vegas street circuit for 2023 F1 race
Alonso’s team mate Esteban Ocon expects teams will use “Monza or less wing level” at the track, and said F1’s simulations of a 342kph top speeds are likely to be exceeded in race conditions.

“They predict 342, but that’s alone,” Ocon observed, noting that in the race speeds of “360, 370 with tows and DRS” may be possible. These would be among the highest top speeds seen at any circuit.

Penske sees room for more ovals on IndyCar calendar

IndyCar owner Roger Penske believes there’s room for more oval races to be added to future IndyCar calendars.

Of the 17 races on this season’s schedule, only five will take place around ovals. Penske says that he believes there is room for more ovals on the calendar.

“If we can get the right event in the right location, I would lean more towards adding ovals than I would road courses or street courses, because that’s the differentiation for us from any other form of racing,” Penske said to Racer.

“The diversity in our schedule with street courses and road courses and ovals, I want to maintain that mix for the future.”

Drugovich quickest on final F2 test day

Formula 2 championship leader Felipe Drugovich was fastest of all on the third and final day of F2 testing in Barcelona on Thursday.

The MP Motorsport driver set the overall fastest lap of a 1’27.529 in the warmest conditions of the test in the morning session. Carlin driver Liam Lawson was second quickest, with Jack Doohan third for Virtuosi.

The next two Formula 2 rounds will take place at Imola next weekend alongside Formula 1 at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

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Comment of the day

After a near-miss under Safety Car in the Australian Grand Prix between Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher, @g-funk ponders whether the FIA should implement a limiter to prevent accidents under Safety Car…

Maybe an RPM limiter similar to the pit lane speed limiter during safety car periods needs to be investigated? It would be faster than the pit lane speed limiter and would scale down as the pack bunches up and cars catch the safety car. But I think at this point it is clear that the drivers will always want to go much faster than has been deemed safe by race control and need to held back by external limits to keep everyone, including themselves, safe.
@g-funk

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Davidnotcoulthard and Dave W!

On this day in motorsport

Nico Rosberg became a grand prix winner today in 2012

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 28 comments on “Alonso surprised by ultra-fast, “all straights” Las Vegas track layout”

    1. Alonso’s comments are a more polite version of what I’ve been saying over and over: the track is a joke with only half of the 14 listed turns actually being turns in IRL. Of those 7 turns, a few more will like be imperceptible as turns for the drivers.

      1. Yeah, maybe they should just go to an oval…… I’m sure Roger could help.

      2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        15th April 2022, 7:58

        Far from being a joke and never mind it look like a child drew it in crayon, I think this track will be real challenge for the engineers and drivers in terms of setup. I’m hoping it will produce great racing and be a real spectacle. I guess we will have to wait and see if that turns out to be the case.
        Either way its not another Tilkedrome and adds to the variety of tracks in F1 at the moment which is a good thing.

      3. Not to mention that it will be a super fast circuit bordered by concrete barriers. Can’t see what could go wrong there.

        1. Are we already whining about this? I swear some of you are not pleased with anything. I remember last year the same criticism about Jeddah, and so far it has produced fantastic racing. Stellar. It’s a dangerous track, and that’s fine.

          I don’t know, maybe it’s us Europeans being Europeans… because I don’t recall a lot of backlash when Imola was added to the calendar, and that’s a properly dreadful track for watch racing on TV. Fun to drive, but abysmal racing. Mugello was dreadful too.

          Anyway, I expect Vegas to be a bit like Jeddah, but a lot more flare. It’s going to be pretty spectacular.

          1. “It’s a dangerous track, and that’s fine.”

            Dangerous? Certainly. Fine? I beg to differ.

      4. It adds diversity, kind like an oval f1 does not have, also track has to be fast otherwise f1 cars would be hit by the bullets from a Las Vegas public shooter.

    2. Meh. I can think of worse street circuits on F1’s calendar.
      In fact, there was an article about the worst one of the lot just a couple of days ago…

    3. The Dolphins
      15th April 2022, 2:33

      “They predict 342, but that’s alone,” Ocon observed, noting that in the race speeds of “360, 370 with tows and DRS” may be possible. These would be among the highest top speeds seen at any circuit.

      During the 2016 Mexican GP Valtteri Bottas reached 372.5 km/h, I’m curious to see if a) those speeds are achievable in this generation of cars b) if Vegas will be the track to set the new record or if it will be Mexico again.

      1. Vegas is about 2,000 ft above sea level, and CDMX is 3 to 4 times that altitude. Vegas is more comparable to José Carlos Pace or Red Bull Ring in terms of altitude.

        I guesstimate about 360 km/h with tow, DRS and “maximum attack” engine mode. In Monza last year we had 362.0 from Vettel. Take 2 kph out for weight reasons.

        ———————-

        Re COTD, the problem with that is you probably want more rpm to recover time from braking tyre-heater manouevres. If you limit rpm you may be less prone to make those brakings and zig-zags in order to keep the 10-car length rule (BTW, this rule is unclear and a bit of a myth, it should be rewritten to clarify it), so it would be even worse for tyre warmup.

        1. In Monza last year we had 362.0 from Vettel. Take 2 kph out for weight reasons.

          2kph loss seems little. Did you calculate this, or is it a guess?
          Of course weight doen’t directly impact speed, but rather acceleration. I wonder how long a straight you need to get to Vmax when donning the thinnest rear wing/DRS.

    4. That’s going to put the teams in an awkward position, since they have to pick their gear ratios at the beginning of the season. That means either everyone will be on the rev limiter for half the Vegas track, OR, they’re going to be unable to use 8th gear meaningfully at the other 23 events on the calendar.

      1. I understand that they also have a changeable ratio multiplier gear on top of the eight, so that they can reach eighth gear at both Monaco and Monza, but the gears are all a lot closer together at Monaco.

    5. Every new circuit havjng multiple very long straghts is one of the reasons i struggle to get that excited about any new circuit as they all end feeling very samey.

      Circuits with very long straghts/flat out sections used to be a novelty that introduced a different challenge to other circuits. Yet as every new venue has largely followed the same formula watching cars driving down very, very long straghts simply isn’t that fun anymore as it’s no longer a novelty we see on just a few circuits. I’m also sort of starting to feel the same with night races tbh.

      It’s also a bit ironic that they tore up the old Hockenheim 20 years ago because a circuit with very long straghts and so few corners was deemed ‘boring’.

      1. @stefmeister it’s basically a rectangle isn’t it? *yawn*

    6. First time I’ve actually seen the Las Vegas layout and… geez I’m already bored. It’s worse than Sochi! Feel for the drivers on this one—they’ll be bored within a few laps no doubt.

      1. If the start-finish is between 14 & 1, then there is hardly any straight at the start to T1.
        And we might see an overtake on the last lap/straight (especially if they have DRS there).

    7. Ten years ago today a Mercedes win was a novelty…how times have changed.

      1. We’re back to those days though, no? :-)

    8. It’s certainly not 97 decibels at 2.5mi/4km. Maybe 97dB at the track during the jet flyover (typically 100dB), and the rest not too dissimilar to another sporting event or concert.

      I lived 5km from the track and could hardly hear them since 2014, and I don’t even need earplugs when going to the track.

    9. We might actually have a track suited to 5-6 DRS zones here.

      1. @tielemst Only three possible sections for activation zones, possibly two as T14 could be risky with DRS activated.
        This is, of course, if DRS even exists by that point anymore.

    10. Im over all these street circuits its formula 1 put them on real race tracks. This is starting to turn into the motorsport version of WWE. Tracks like Malaysia and China would suit these cars good straights and challenging sections.

      1. @justin I agree in principle, except that China is already a regular fixture.
        Another Chinese event in the future is possible.
        This would probably be on a temporary circuit, given the present trend.

        1. Oh my bad I thought China had been removed from the calendar

    11. I like the layout as I generally enjoy high-speed tracks. Very Jeddah-like.
      Ocon’s top speed notes are valid, although one caveat is whether DRS even exists anymore by that point.

      I’m surprised Bottas still drove Melbourne despite the AusGP not being up-to-date relevant anymore & already despite that event not yet being up next. He has time for that track post-Imola until travelling overseas.

      I thought everyone had stopped protesting against Miami GP by now.

      COTD: Unnecessary, not to mention, easier said than done.

      1. @jerejj right now, it seems that the drivers believe that DRS is not going to be removed and that it is going to become a permanent fixture of the sport.

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