George Russell is concerned the Las Vegas Grand Prix circuit may not achieve its goal of producing close racing.Las Vegas Strip Circuit were expected to provide good overtaking opportunities and produce a lively race.
Russell acknowledged this was the thinking behind the track’s design. “For the 20 drivers it’s not going to be the most enjoyable circuit we’ve driven in the whole season,” he said. “But this is a sport that millions and millions of people tune in every single week to watch and probably the majority of people understands what a great race is and overtaking and battles.
“But only probably the diehard fans can really appreciate the greatness of a circuit like Silverstone or Suzuka or Monaco. So times are definitely changing and I think we just have to embrace it, really.”
However he’s concerned that as drivers are likely to use low downforce configurations, their Drag Reduction Systems will lack power on the straights, and overtaking will not be as easy as was predicted.
“It’s definitely not going to be an iconic circuit in terms of its layout,” said Russell. “I think it’s been designed to try to enhance racing. [But] I’m not too sure how good the race is going to be.
“Of course there’s big, long straights, but because we’re all on minimum downforce the slipstream effect won’t be that great. The DRS I think is worth about one tenth per straight. When you compare that to someone like Barcelona, it’s worth six tenths on the straight.
“So it may not actually be as straightforward as one may think to race.”
Russell’s team mate Lewis Hamilton hopes the track’s similarities to the Baku City Circuit means it will produce a lively race.
“From a racer’s perspective, you want to have the best show,” he said. “If the race track provides races like, for example, Baku – which is in terms of racing is one of the best races, lots of overtaking – that would be amazing. Rather than just one car disappearing and cars [are] not overtaking, for example.”
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2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix
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