After a weekend off, Formula 1 returns this weekend with the highly anticipated return of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which hasn’t appeared on the calendar since 1982.
F1’s trip to Sin City this weekend will be drastically different to 41 years ago, when the race took place in a car park.
A high-speed street circuit has been designed and built, with it set to feature part of the iconic Vegas Strip.
It’s tipped to be an event like no other, something F1 have been pushing for given that they’re responsible for the promotion of the Grand Prix.
The teams and drivers have been talking about racing in Vegas for months, unlike local residents who aren’t thrilled about the impact F1 will have in Sin City this weekend.
Several celebrities and sports stars are expected to be present, to the extent that former American racing driver Willy T Ribbs believes that the A-listers in attendance will outnumber the fans.
Ribbs – who in 1986 became the first black man to test an F1 car – has predicted that the Les Vegas GP this Saturday, will be the “biggest race in racing history”.
“It is going to be mega – I would not be shocked if King Charles showed up,” Ribbs told The Independent.
“I would not be shocked because the A-list is going to be insane. You’re going to be bumping into more celebrities and sports stars than you will fans.
“Without any hyperbole, it will be the biggest race in racing history. That encompasses everything – the most talked about and the most glamorous.
“If you look at Las Vegas, it has a history of putting on the biggest event – whether it’s a boxing fight or an NFL game.”
As mentioned, the race will take place on a Saturday for the first time since the 1985 South African Grand Prix.
The lights will go out at 10pm local time Saturday night, meaning those in Europe will need to be up before sunrise to catch what the drivers expect to be an unpredictable affair.
Cold temperatures are set to add to the challenge of a new street track, with Pirelli having assigned the three softest compounds in their range to try and minimise the impact the cold weather will have.