2023 Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix: Race it Yourself in AC

The 2023 Las Vegas GP Will Not Be In the Caesars Palace Car Park.jpg

Who are you backing in the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix?

  • Max Verstappen

    Votes: 89 29.7%
  • Sergio Perez

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • Lewis Hamilton

    Votes: 31 10.3%
  • George Russell

    Votes: 7 2.3%
  • Charles Leclerc

    Votes: 46 15.3%
  • Carlos Sainz

    Votes: 7 2.3%
  • Lance Stroll

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Fernando Alonso

    Votes: 33 11.0%
  • Lando Norris

    Votes: 37 12.3%
  • Oscar Piastri

    Votes: 7 2.3%
  • Esteban Ocon

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Pierre Gasly

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • Valtteri Bottas

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • Guanyu Zhou

    Votes: 3 1.0%
  • Kevin Magnussen

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • Nico Hulkenberg

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • Alex Albon

    Votes: 9 3.0%
  • Logan Sargeant

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • Daniel Ricciardo

    Votes: 3 1.0%
  • Yuki Tsunoda

    Votes: 6 2.0%

  • Total voters
    300
It is time for glitz and glamour to decorate the Formula One paddock as this weekend is the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. Here are the stories to look out for.

Image credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Well, it is not quite the inaugural Grand Prix in Sin City. Those with a keen memory - traumatised by the sight of Formula One cars cast aside to a glorified parking lot - will remember the early 1980's rounds in the Caesar's Palace car park.

Luckily, the sport has gained popularity in the States since its previous visit to Las Vegas and is now returning, stronger than ever. A new layout utilising some of the most recognisable landmarks the city has to offer will provide a fantastic spectacle this weekend. But in truth, the real attraction of the event for many is not the racing. Instead, the showbusiness world is playing with Formula One, something that is causing a rift in the sport's fandom.


Whether you are in favour of the simplification of the sport or not, one thing is for certain; the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix is intriguing for many reasons. Here are some of the stories circulating the paddock this week.

The Vegas GP Layout​

That is not to say that the racing itself will not provide drama. In fact, whilst memes of the layout's animalistic lookalike have filled social media, one must admit that is could well provide good racing. Failing that, it is sure to make for spectacular pictures on the coverage.

Measuring 6.2km, it is the second longest circuit on the 2023 Formula One calendar, just behind the almighty Spa. Much like the longest track on the calendar, the Vegas Street Circuit is also dominated by flat-out sections, so expect high-speeds during the race.

One can most definitely expect DRS to be a powerful tool as the cars barrel down the infamous Strip. So whilst many dismiss the Vegas GP as a snooze-fest, it is worth waiting to see just how well this new circuit races.


The back end of the circuit is certainly more technical as it rounds the now-recognisable Sphere location. However, with just 17 turns, most of which will not require much effort, there are limited opportunities to warm the tyres. Flying down so many straights is sure to provide a challenge in tyre temperature.

Despite having never been raced on, the Las Vegas Street Circuit is already prominent in sim racing. The venue featured in EA's F1 23 at launch earlier this year. But it is also available to race in Assetto Corsa.

Las Vegas Street Circuit in Assetto Corsa​

Thanks to an in-depth creation by RaceDepartment user @Tyrone - Nukedrop Mods the Las Vegas Street Circuit is available to drive in AC. Released in April of last year, it has since garnered almost 40,000 downloads and a 4.5-star rating.

Despite releasing before the layout was finalised, the mod perfectly recreates the circuit that the Grand Prix will race on this weekend. This includes the short-shoot chicane around the Sphere.

Las Vegas Street Circuit in Assetto Corsa mod.jpg

Image credit: @Tyrone - Nukedrop Mods

The circuit features fully working AI, plenty of lights to guide you around the track at night and all the landmarks one will get used to on the race coverage. In fact, a recent update even added a number of different animations to the Sphere, perfect for distracting drivers whilst trying to learn this city circuit. Elsewhere, the latest update also added a functioning start gantry, all the real-world grandstands, numerous replay cameras and several immersion-enhancing effects.

If ever you get bored of the racing action this weekend, surely this mod is worth a try!

Off-Track Show​

Once again Formula One is arriving in the United States of America and transforming into a Hollywood drama. Opening up the event, Wednesday night saw a major Opening Ceremony take place, bringing together the teams and drivers for an eye-catching spectacle.

Following the show, Max Verstappen has already pronounced his disliking to the current state of the Vegas GP paddock. Shockingly enough, it seems media appearances and large on-stage shows are not the reason this three-time champ wanted to race in F1.


Wednesday night also saw EA Sports kick off the show with a major F1 23 tournament in the HyperX Arena, putting together F1 drivers, athletes and personalities. The Kick Off event also marked the beginning of a free-to-play weekend for the current Formula One game.

Finally, the event is most certainly set to see celebrities and public figures take away the limelight from the cars. Expect awkward interviews and flamboyant characters to fill your weekend's coverage.

Desert Temperature Impact​

The layout's lack of technical sections is not the only element of the event that will prove a challenge for tyre management. In fact, being built in the middle of a desert, Las Vegas experiences shockingly low temperatures at night. When is F1 racing in Sin City? You guessed it right, yes.

With ambient temperatures expected to fall below the 10°C mark during night sessions such as qualifying and the race, keeping temperature will be a challenge, regardless of the layout. This low temperature is a sure-fire route to excessive graining on the tyres. This is when the tyre gets so cold and slides so much that the rubber can no longer flex. It causes tears in the tyre surface which then rapidly fuse again, creating ripples and inconsistent grip.

Lows of 9 degrees for Las Vegas GP race day.JPG


In addition to the tyre surface suffering from the cold, one can expect a greater risk of punctures due to the tyre's lack of sidewall flex.

Elsewhere, drivers will also struggle to perform in these strange conditions. Whilst the Qatar Grand Prix saw extreme heat break the spirits of many drivers, the Vegas GP will bring quite the opposite challenge. Lando Norris has previously mentioned that keeping one's hands warm will be crucial to operating the cars easily.

An Untested Venue​

All these problems boil down to one thing; a lack of previous data. Going into the event, the FIA, teams, drivers and engineers have little to no knowledge on how the weekend will play out. As a result, the entire weekend will be a learning experience for everyone involved.

From the FIA gradually perfecting its operations to each team figuring out the optimal tyre windows and passing strategies. Rarely in Formula One do we get to witness a completely new venue without previous experience for teams to learn from. So fans must relish this occurrence whilst we can.

Las Vegas Grand Prix Track Map.jpg

Image credit: Mercedes AMG F1 Press Site

With little to no prior information on the venue, one can expect some teams getting things wrong. This is sure to lead to a strange leader board come the end of the event. Luckily for the teams, this is not a Sprint format weekend, meaning the cars get three hours of practice before hitting competitive running and Parc Fermé. However, there is still plenty of opportunity to get things wrong with the setup or tyre strategy come race day.

When to Watch the 2023 Las Vegas GP​

Early on after the event's announcement, the schedule was one of the first elements of the race weekend to perplex fans and staff alike. Taking place in one of the most Westerly points in the world, the schedule has been adapted to suit a wider audience, notably, the European crowd.

In fact, the Vegas GP is not your typical night race. The standard session start times we see in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain remain at an acceptable 9pm or 10pm local time. In Vegas, some sessions such as Free Practice 2 and Qualifying do not get going until after midnight local time. This means much of the USA will be staying up until the dark of night to catch live action. For Europeans, this does make for a Japanese GP atmosphere.


Furthermore, the entire weekend is moving forward a day earlier than one would expect. In Vegas, Practice Friday is indeed Practice Thursday Night. The Qualifying Hour will take up the first hour of Saturday morning and the lights go green for the GP late Saturday evening. All this to give Europeans a better coverage time. Here are the times to look out for for the Las Vegas GP sessions.

FridayFriday
Free Practice 15:30am CET
Free Practice 29:00am CET
SaturdaySaturday
Free Practice 35:30am CET
Qualifying9:00am CET
SundaySunday
Las Vegas Grand Prix7:00am CET

Will you be watching the 2023 Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix?
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

Haven't followed F1 this year, apart from the starter, so how is it going with Ferraris cooling issues?

I tried full throttle in a 90ies F1 AC pack this sunday on this track, going out the extreme long back stretch, my thoughts went immideately there.

Well, seems the upcoming Vegas strike as I linked in a post in the official race thread has come to silince..or?
 
Last edited:
Premium
And Practice 1 resembled a pig. And sorry to this guy, it is a black eye!

Is Wolff is after a job with the guvnors?... the facts he dismisses, a 1kg lump of metal pulled out of the ground and potentially flung around the track at 200 MPH, it's happened before, Monaco Baku, even more reason to ensure that it never happens again, two cars needing extensive work, through no fault of their own, a team suffering a grid penalty which benefits Mercedes his team, the guy is fuller than a medieval Kazi
Perhaps if more attention was paid to the racing than the show it would have been picked up... as would the afterthought of temperature with a race in the desert... "yeah it's hot there ain't it"
And really accusing the Europeans of not being interested in P1, get a grip man, a little respect for the true fans, those that do get up at silly-o-clock in the morning to watch this.
And people say Helmut Marko speaks before he thinks.
 
Premium
Is Wolff is after a job with the guvnors?... the facts he dismisses, a 1kg lump of metal pulled out of the ground and potentially flung around the track at 200 MPH, it's happened before, Monaco Baku, even more reason to ensure that it never happens again, two cars needing extensive work, through no fault of their own, a team suffering a grid penalty which benefits Mercedes his team, the guy is fuller than a medieval Kazi
Perhaps if more attention was paid to the racing than the show it would have been picked up... as would the afterthought of temperature with a race in the desert... "yeah it's hot there ain't it"
And really accusing the Europeans of not being interested in P1, get a grip man, a little respect for the true fans, those that do get up at silly-o-clock in the morning to watch this.
And people say Helmut Marko speaks before he thinks.
I attended a couple of F1 races when they came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway years ago. I am from the Indianapolis area and thus I love IndyCar. The technology in the F1 cars is tremendous, but it seems to create too much separation between teams. I have only been watching over the last several races this year due to the excitement about this Las Vegas F1 race. Wolff needs to understand what a black eye is! It is not a terminal health situation. Not stage 4 cancer. It is a black eye. You took a punch, it hurts, and the shiner tells everyone you took a punch. They patched the track, eliminated spectators (that alone is a black eye) and ran P2. I hope no more issues delay this, but definitely a black eye, if not two black eyes. One for the live spectators being removed and the second for TV coverage showing the track debacle. Newly interested people like myself saw the worst start you can have to a new race. I also have been running this course on Assetto Corsa and mostly find it boring to drive, but cool atmosphere. Since I started watching F1 several months ago, I watch every practice, qualifying run, sprint and race. So far, it is very predictable who will be running where. Makes me love my IndyCar even more, but I could have a spot for F1. Just acknowledge the black eye and move on.
 
I gotta say the track is better than i thought, gives a great sense of speed, and of course the atmosphere and environment are special
 
So let me get this straight: The 4 in water line cover was pulled up THROUGH the recently laid down asphalt? Explain how negative air pressure can reach down through several inches of road surface and suck that lid up into the car. Could it be this foo-fa-raw about Green Racing with Hybrid batteries is actually just a cover for a huge magnet that pulls the car down onto mettalic particles imbedded into the asphalt????
The cars are heavier, yet they are faster....hmmmm sounds like a Scalextrix slot car solution.
ssshhhhhh
 
Premium
Opinions can be divided about the race track.
Of course, you have to stick to the conditions on public roads.
You are not allowed to drive over the pit entry line?
It couldn't be more embarrassing.
A protective wall and the problem would not occur at all.
I also think it's incredibly good how Formula Money makes itself really ridiculous and unpopular. Yet again.
This is just another circus act that celebrates itself
Then the penalty was imposed due to a life-threatening mistake by the organizer.
As a team boss, I would pack my things and drive home.
What do they want to do?
Deduct points from me?
Exclude from the rest of the season?
They can then claim the fine from the organizer who destroyed my car. I don't understand why those responsible make an exception in such a case. Neither driver nor team is at fault. But you can see that interest has been limited so far.
The world champion has been determined.
And not through a Grand Prix victory but through sprint racing nonsense.
What does this have to do with Grand Prix sport?
The old world champions can proudly say they became Formula 1 world champions because they won Grand Prix races.
The modern world champions can only say that they somehow became world champions on some weekend through some race, mistake, disagreement or perhaps urination in the toilett.
You don't even know anymore whether you became a racewinner.
That will be decided hours, days, weeks or years later.
Totally my sense of humor.
Yes, you are right. I am absolutely against this whole Grand Prix format.
Too soft, too predictable and the teams are also afraid of new competition.
They could go under like when Ross Brawn bought a team and became world champion in the same year.
This is slowly but surely disappearing. They can ask the DTM.
From a touring car championship to an interchangeable GT3 championship.
You never know whether the DTM or the ADAC Touring Car Championship will take place.
I say, even if I have nothing to say, back to the roots.
Then I would be ready to spend my Sundays watching TV again.
Even if it was just pay per view.
But as?
The “races” on our server are more important to me.
 

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