Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2023

Ferrari “confident we can be competitive” in Las Vegas

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari’s Jock Clear expects his team to perform well this weekend as he believes the new Las Vegas Strip Circuit will suit their chassis.

In brief

Ferrari “confident we can be competitive” in Las Vegas

Ferrari’s senior performance engineer Jock Clear says he expects the low-downforce nature of the Las Vegas Strip Circuit should lend itself to Ferrari’s car.

High speeds are expected for the all-new street circuit with teams expected to bring low-downforce packages for their cars. Ferrari have often been at their strongest at circuits that require a low-downforce approach, notably Baku and Monza.

“Vegas is going to be a good one,” Clear said. “All the indications are it’s going to be a low downforce circuit and as such we are confident that we can be competitive there.”

Red Bull sign Goethe as junior

Formula 3 racer Oliver Goethe has become the latest driver to join Red Bull’s junior driver programme.

The 19-year-old, who won last year’s Euroformula Open championship, competed in his first full season of Formula 3 in 2023. Goethe took a single race win in the Silverstone feature race as part of two podium appearances to finish the season eighth in the standings.

“I am proud and excited to join the Red Bull Junior team,” Goethe said. “I grew up watching Sebastian Vettel winning races and championships in the Red Bull car, and as a German driver, I am proud to follow in his footsteps. Being part of an F1 team can provide me with priceless opportunities and open the door to the dream I’ve been working towards and there’s no better team to do it with.”

F1 23 and Forza nominated for Game Awards

F1 23 and Forza Motorsport have both been nominated for the ‘Best Sports/Racing Game’ category of this year’s Game Awards.

The games industry’s biggest awards show announced nominations yesterday, with both F1 23 and Forza Motorsport nominated alongside EA’s FC 24, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 and The Crew: Motorfest.

Alpine tweak livery for Las Vegas

Alpine’s Las Vegas livery

Alpine have tweaked their livery for this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix as part of a promotion with sponsors Palace and Kappa. They will be one of at least four teams with revised liveries for the race, along with Ferrari, Red Bull and Alfa Romeo.

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Comment of the day

The Las Vegas Grand Prix may well be the most highly-publicised race in F1 history, but SjaakFoo is not feeling the hype…

While it certainly has been hyped up by certain stakeholders, I don’t really feel there’s been all that much hype around it at all. In general I feel it’s been regarded as a bit of a curiosity, but it doesn’t look to me like there’s been all that much anticipation for this grand prix to finally arrive on the calendar, compared to a lot of other tracks.

It’ll be interesting to see what the temperatures will ultimately influence, but I think it doesn’t matter all that much for the pecking order, which will probably be the same as in Monza all the same. For this reason, I doubt Red Bull will be much at risk either.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sridhar!

On this day in motorsport

Author information

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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20 comments on “Ferrari “confident we can be competitive” in Las Vegas”

  1. Cab Driver Moans.
    In other news, a nice picture of Reutemann chucking away the 1981 championship. Not his team’s finest hour, but the livery’s a reminder that Frank Williams was years ahead of his time when it comes to sportswashing.

    1. the livery’s a reminder that Frank Williams was years ahead of his time when it comes to sportswashing.


      Was that the first car company to sponsor an F1 team without having any real technical input (except providing the hauling trucks)?

    2. Let me guess, you aren’t a fan of the Bin Laden sponsorship Williams ran either!!

      …Still can’t believe that. The odds that a sponsor’s name and family would go on to become the most famous name of all time in “that genre.”

    3. BTW, TBF to Frank, “the Kingdom’s” treatment of its people had been pretty good and its view in general had been pretty moderate up to that point.

  2. On COTD> maybe it is a bit of fatigue about new venues making the fabricated hype not cool and not sticking with the traditional audiences.
    Austin possibly is the last addition that really brought something in racing terms.
    The rest of the new venues look good on paper, eventually were a good in situ event, but, for the audience writ large, meaningless.
    Middle Eastern tracks, if not for the ammount the money threw at, would be rated subpar.
    Saudi tracks would be deem amateur, it they didnt make it look like a nice construction effort.
    Valencia had maybe two good races – all the other street tracks were uneventful.
    The inclusion of the French GP was announced as the main contribution to the calendar and nothing came from racing there.
    Add to all that the perception that there is no sportwise value on the new venues, which is more flagrant on Miami and now Las Vegas, where satisfying Liberty shareholders interests seems to be main purpose of the events.

    1. Jeddah had great races already same with France.

      The main driving factor behind a race not being dull is competition at the top.

      Otherwise you need to rely on weather, Pirelli, Sargeant or Ferrari.

  3. Id vote for the hot wheels game over the rubbish f1 23 “game” as it is more fun. F1 games should be simulators, like they started to be in the 90s and beginnning of 2000s, witch then fell away with official licensing in the late 2000s. Grand Prix 2 and 3 from 25 years ago are still more realistic to drive than f1 23

    1. I have fond memories of those kind of games, used to play them a lot, especially gp3, it has to be that cause the drivers used were for the 1998 season.

  4. Calling the parametrically defined opponents of AAA racing games AI is a bit of an insult to autopilot. Sophy is a step in the right direction but as shown it needs to be weakened to be able to be able to be able to be challenged by anyone but the best in the world.

    I wonder if thanks to AI augmentation motor racing will eventually turn into more of a strategic battle of which lines to take and how to use the available resources (fuel, tyres, etc…) rather than a test of reflexes and feel for the car. For sure no one will want to watch it, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens to racing at the club level when this kind of tech becomes widely available.

    1. AI is just the name for the field of research and application, but there are indeed bug differences between the different forms.

      I think the previous Forza and, much earlier, Live for Speed allowed their model to “learn” over time, although obviously limited, it was noticeable. Another take on that idea, and probably easier to implement, is a variable difficulty rating, where the opponents would get better if the player won with ease. This as opposed to rubber banding, where the opponents are always in the same place relative to the player to guarantee non stop action.

      Different games benefit from different models, I guess.

  5. If anyone is interested, there is an extended version of Tony Kannan’s drive in the MP4-6 is available on Racer’s YouTube channel.

    And also: Marshall Pruett, the veteran US journalist who does a lot of Racer’s content, can be seen at 1:24 in the video linked above.

  6. I don’t recall reading any complaints about other full-blown street circuits that have joined F1 in the modern era, i.e., Singapore & Baku (& Valencia), ones with some similar features, or long-timers such as Monaco & Albert Park, so I wonder what’s different with LV that makes people, both residents & visitors, annoyed at the pre-event preparations, which can’t be any more inconvenient than the annual build-up processes in Monaco, Singapore, & Baku that take 2+ months.

    1. The Vegas GP is taking place on the Strip though – that’d be like the Singapore GP taking in Orchard Road. It’s probably more disruptive to the general running of the city than the other examples you mention (except possibly Monaco, but most people living there probably just jet off to one of their other tax havens if they aren’t interested in the F1).

      And Melbourne in particular attracts protests every year, even though it takes place in a park rather than on city streets.

    2. @jerejj firstly, as noted by Red Andy, those other circuits are mostly using roads that are not primary access routes for those cities, whereas Las Vegas is deliberately using it’s most important roads (and most of the surrounding streets are also designed to intentionally funnel both pedestrian and vehicle traffic onto that same road).

      Secondly, the temporary facilities for those other circuits are often designed so that they continue to allow access to other parts of the city, and the road closures are generally relatively short. If you use Singapore as an example, they partially open the circuit during the race weekend, and it’s only over limited time slots that the circuit is fully closed – it also helps that the race takes place at a time when traffic levels are lower anyway. Similarly, at Monaco the roads are only fully closed for the three days of the race weekend.

      Furthermore, where those road closures do take place, those venues usually advertise the planned closures in advance and have a set schedule for when those closures will take place. By comparison, some roads in Las Vegas are being shut up to two weeks ahead of the race, whilst many of the temporary closures in the past couple of months were apparently done with little warning or no warning at all for locals.

      Those other circuits also have well established routines and plans for alternative access arrangements around the circuit too – by contrast, the Clark County commissioners were complaining in October that the event organisers for the Las Vegas GP still hadn’t submitted their plans to resolve all of the access issues that the event was creating for public transport and access for pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

  7. On COTD:
    Maybe because the addition of Las Vegas comes after the addition of the Miami race, which came off as more emphasis on style than substance.
    And having a race in a resort city seems like a turning that ethos to 11.

    But then, of course Liberty is having to hype up the weekend, since they are the event promoters, so they’re going to exploit all their tools/resources to get the word out.

    The proof will be in the pudding, which will be the racing itself.

  8. I’m quite sure the main picture shows the 2022 Ferraris ;-)

    And as for the Las Vegas hype: the only thing to hype is that it’s the famous Las Vegas city, but people know what the city is about, so beyond the city itself there is not much substance into the hype.

    I’ve got a feeling that people don’t get that excited about city tracks anymore. I’m 100% sure that if this was a road track and the long straight ran through a forest old Hockenheim style, better yet with elevation changes, fans would go crazy about it and the intrigue would be immense too.

    1. The Ferrari picture seems to be form the Brazilian Sprint Day.

      1. Thanks! Indeed. They seem to have made the noses more pointy again, closer to last years’ versions, compared to how they were at the beginning of the season:

    2. I actually miss the old hockenheim, was a unique track, faster than monza, and was really hurt when they changed it.

  9. Week to week, Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston-Martin, and to a lesser degree McLaren have no idea how their cars are going to perform and that is at tracks where they have years of experience. The only thing interesting about Las Vegas is that no one knows whose care will be good, well, except for Red Bull.

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