The upcoming glitzy Las Vegas Grand Prix hopes to usurp Monaco to become the new ‘flagship’ Formula 1 race within its first few seasons on the calendar.
Las Vegas will join the ever-expanding calendar in 2023 as the third race set to take place in the United States. The race is pegged to go ahead on the streets of Sin City during a Saturday night grand prix next November.
The Monaco Grand Prix is heralded as the ‘crown jewel’ of Formula 1 and is firmly embedded within the identity of the sport. The iconic race has been on the calendar since the inaugural Drivers’ Championship in 1950, and is considered to be the ultimate win for all drivers.
However, the lack of overtaking opportunities around the Monte Carlo circuit has led to doubts regarding its appeal by some key figures within F1. McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently suggested the race needs to be adapted to somehow widen the track if it is to maintain its appeal and stature as the flagship race of the sport.
Las Vegas penned a three-year deal with F1 to be included on the calendar from next year – and governor Steve Sisolak has revealed the ambition of the city to impressing the pinnacle of motorsport. He believes the event can become the new ‘flagship’ F1 race over the next few seasons.
“We’ve hosted [NFL] drafts and also the Super Bowl, but the opportunity to host a Formula 1 race is something, and I predict that this will be the iconic race, the flagship race of F1 within a couple of years,” Sisolak said, according to the Metro. “That is how well this is going to be received so it is a thrill to be here.
“It is a pretty select company to be one of the cities that has been chosen for this. I cannot begin to tell you how important this is.
Do you think Las Vegas can replace Monaco as the 'flagship' race of F1? Let us know in the comments section.
“What happens in Las Vegas, only happens in Las Vegas and we are so looking forward to having this opportunity. Adding Formula 1 to Las Vegas underscores what I have been saying for quite a while that Nevada is not only the sports capital of the world, but with Formula 1, it is truly a global sport and we are the entertainment and sports capital of the world here in Las Vegas.
“We are looking at one of the most iconic, famous streets in the world. I can’t wait to see this street with Formula 1 cars travelling at 200 miles per hour down this Las Vegas Strip. It is absolutely amazing.”
A video has already been circulated by F1 on social media channels showcasing drivers and their respective reactions to the news the race is going ahead. Drivers largely voiced their support for a race in Las Vegas, with world champion Max Verstappen admitting recovery time from the weekend might be needed.
The Red Bull star joked: “Let’s not do back-to-back for this one, let’s give it two weeks’ break before and after!”
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