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F1’s new Las Vegas Grand Prix aims to stay on the calendar “forever”

2023 F1 season

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The team behind Formula 1’s new Las Vegas Grand Prix aim for the event to be on the world championship calendar far longer than its initial three-year deal.

F1 first raced in the city in 1981 on a track in a casino car park. However it failed to attract much local interest and was dropped after a second race the following year.

Earlier this year F1 confirmed a new street circuit in Las Vegas will hold a race from next year. Emily Prazer, the senior vice president of commercial at the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix company which is organising and promoting the race, discussed preparations for the series’ return to the Nevada city in a recent BlackBook Motorsport Forum event.

Unlike other grands prix, F1 owner Liberty Media has a direct financial stake in this event as it will run partly on a stretch of land it has purchased and the organising company is also part of Liberty’s business portfolio. The race’s contract may only run to 2025, but those behind the grand prix clearly hope it will continue far longer than that.

“From our point of view, we purchased a piece of land with the intention of having a race here. I don’t think there’s any intention to only be here for three years. We want to be here for forever,” said Prazer.

F1’s first visit to Las Vegas was not a success
“This is such a unique market and somewhere that we think we can keep continuing to grow the sport. So we’re very excited about that kind of permanent infrastructure that will be in place.

“From our point of view – and it’s definitely not something that’s ready to share more broadly – but we’re looking at how that piece of land and what we do on it from a year-round perspective becomes an experience in Las Vegas like no other.”

Although there has been a lot of enthusiasm in launching the grand prix from the most influential parties in Las Vegas, from casino owners to city governance, there have also been expectations placed on F1 to ensure there is minimised disruption to the city’s workforce. The street circuit which will hold the race encircles several casinos which are major tourist destinations, so attention had to be paid to ensuring these could still operate.

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“Significant planning has been going into daily meetings with resorts and casinos around how we ensure that the island we’re creating is completely accessible, mostly for staff,” Prazer explained.

Las Vegas Street Circuit track map
Track data: Las Vegas Street Circuit
“One thing that we really didn’t factor in from our understanding is the shift change patterns and how many people actually work in Las Vegas in terms of that hotel industry. So we are constructing bridges to make sure that people can come in and out of that inner circuit area as much as we can, and we’ve been very strategic about where we’re placing the really heavy [traffic] areas.”

The race will be the third American round on the 2023 F1 calendar. It joins the United States Grand Prix, which has been held in Austin since 2012, and the Miami Grand Prix, which was added to the schedule this year.

“We’ve got such a good relationship between the three different US territories [hosting F1 races] that we’re working quite closely together to make sure that we maximise where we are in the US right now,” said Prazer. The teams promoting the other two US races “work hand in hand with each other” and the Las Vegas team to be “completely complementary to one another” as events, she added.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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24 comments on “F1’s new Las Vegas Grand Prix aims to stay on the calendar “forever””

  1. If it is going to be as bad as Miami, it will just be a waste of a weekend, and a wasted opportunity to showcase a good track.

  2. Sure, sure, Liberty is planning this race to be part of the F1 calendar for as long as they own the sport. Makes sense from their point of view.

    For the fans, we just hope the track will offer better racing than the other high paying tracks like Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia etc. And let us just hope it avoids some of the mess that the promoter made of the latest USA race in Miami (track surface, some of the layout issues, hospitality issues).

  3. well, if it provides good racing then we shall see, maybe it will stay on the calendar for the foreseeable future. It just feels off going to another ‘basic’ street track layout when the USA has some of the best road circuits in the world. I would rather scrap Miami and replace it with either Barber or Road Atlanta, scrap Las Vegas and replace it with Road America, and even at a stretch, have a 4th race for the west coast at Laguna Seca. Then you would have a North/South/East/West race to cover the huge demographic that is the US. With the fact that we have Bahrain, Jedda and Abu Dhabi all within spitting distance makes even less sense than what I have just suggested.

    1. I’ll hold off on my opinion until the race, but based on what I have seen so far I am not optimistic this venue is the best location for a third F1 race in the US. One of the things that initially attracted me to F1 many years ago was the character of the circuits that were raced on. IndyCar (then Champ) had a few circuits with a ton of character but also drove on a lot of dime-a-dozen ovals and even some temporary circuits created at airports. F1 had Spa, Suzuka, Brands Hatch, Monza, Imola, and Silverstone. They may not have always produced great races but the circuits had tons of character!

      F1 these days seems to think they can buy or manufacture character. But they can’t. Miami was just the latest example of that. I suspect Vegas will be the same, but who knows? I could be pleasantly surprised.

  4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    19th October 2022, 8:10

    It’d bad enough we have on duff US track but 2 is unacceptable. Is time for Liverty out?

  5. “You mean like, forever?” – Lando Norris, 2019

  6. Not to worry, even if it’s comfortably the worst race of the season, the journalists will still tell us it was brilliant (see this year’s Miami GP).

      1. Sky F1 UK, especially…

  7. Well, of course. Liberty got suckered into promoting this thing themselves and even buying real estate.

    Previous owners were never so overly eager not to realize that you don’t make money promoting F1 races, so you let third parties do that part of the business.

  8. If you’re setting up a new event like this, with high stakes and a huge budget, the ambition must be to make it worthwile for years to come. At this moment there’s no point in saying: “Well, we’re making this huge investment, hope it works for a year, maybe two, then let’s see”.
    For all the money, hopes and dreams thrown at it, I hope the eventual event will live up to the ambition, both for the fans (at home and at the track) and for the investors.

  9. Buy shares in MGM. Rooms are going for $100k a night with 4 night min stay. MGM have thousands of track facing rooms.

  10. Oh please no!

  11. Yuck. How disgusting.

  12. It all sounds like it could be a crass spectacle for the very rich with the ordinary F1 fan being a secondary thought. It’s good that Liberty are taking into account the local needs though and seeking to avoid disruption.

    We should not pre-judge I suppose but I doubt the circuit is going to be great. But who knows, if Liberty are throwing so much money at it, they might get some of the best circuit designers on board. It’s feel it’s not real F1 though is it. It’s this all American, fake razzmatazz, super-expensive and superficial version of it that is being peddled by Liberty. Not even Bernie was this bad.

    1. It’s feel it’s not real F1 though is it.

      This is as F1 as it gets.

      Not even Bernie was this bad.

      You do know there was previously a Las Vegas GP, right? Guess who made it happen.

      1. Well S he probably had a hand in it yes. However, I believe he was a team principal of Brabham in 1982. He was not the sole director and Chief Exec of F1.

        Regardless of your nit-picking, this was more of an expression of frustration with Liberty than an entirely accurate reporting of history perhaps.

    2. Crass … what an appropriate term.. I give it two, OK, three years, at best. Vegas is the epitome of ultra-tacky.

  13. F1 owner Liberty Media has a direct financial stake in this event as it will run partly on a stretch of land it has purchased and the organizing company is also part of Liberty’s business portfolio.

    Corrupt practice. Like paying more to Bernie personal account, now any track needs to give Liberty some ownership to ensure it be in the calendar.

    1. If anything, demanding that 3rd party promoters must all pay $10’s of millions to be granted a temporary spot on the calendar is far more corrupt.
      Liberty (and CVC in the past) take all that money without having to spend anything themselves or take any financial risk at all. And also take the revenue from the advertising and corporate hospitality at the event too.

      At least they are contributing to this one – and if it fails, they suffer.

  14. Coventry Climax
    19th October 2022, 13:44

    the senior vice president of commercial at the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix company


    F1 owner Liberty Media has a direct financial stake in this event as it will run partly on a stretch of land it has purchased and the organising company is also part of Liberty’s business portfolio.


    So that’s what’s next. Liberty running the ‘show’ AND owning the tracks.
    From a company point of view that makes sense, until they get to the point where they breach the laws on monopolists and ‘free market’.
    From a sporting point of view it’s disaster, with boring uniformity the result.
    Which ties in perfectly with the FIA’s own agenda. Although ‘own’? I get the distinct impression they are on the Liberty payroll as well already.

    1. until they get to the point where they breach the laws on monopolists and ‘free market’.

      How might that ever happen?
      How many series and/or circuits would ‘Liberty’ need to gain control of in order for that to happen? A dozen? At least.
      F1 isn’t an industry in that sense – it’s just a small fish in very large international sporting/motorsports/entertainment ocean.
      There will always be many other series to watch/invest in/advertise with/compete in.

      And really, let’s be realistic about this – not only is the FIA contractually tied to having a Commercial Rights Holder, they benefit greatly from it. F1 is, by quite a margin, their largest income stream.

      In reality, it’s taken far too long for any stakeholder in F1 to go through with this. They absolutely should have something to lose by putting on events that nobody likes or wants to watch – doing this gives them the direct incentive to make the event a success by all of the important metrics.
      You should be happy about it – rather than only making money from the event, they actually want to make it a good one. They can’t say that about any other event on the calendar, with the possible exception of Monaco – which is also not on the calendar just for financial gain.

  15. That picture is so nice, that’s the best looking city I ever saw!

  16. You know, Hamilton as an engaging multi-champion did a lot more than most to sell the sport to the US.
    Now we have Verstappen and i say good luck to that.

    This sport needs its personalities, even as the FIA seems dead set on stamping out that trait.

    As for Las Vegas, lets just wait and see if its processional or if it allows close racing and over-taking. Ultimately that’s what decides if a track is any good or not. It wont be the glitz and the celebrity which the US is sure to do, it will be the excitement generated on the track by the drivers.

    My guess is there’ll be another fast pace car starting from behind to guarantee that degree of on track over taking. Whether the Americans will appreciate this extra effort to entertain them, is another matter.

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