‘Struggling to see the good for F1’: Benefit of 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix called into question

Las Vegas will host its third championship grand prix in November next year.

Formula 1 announced on Thursday that it would be racing in Las Vegas in 2023, meaning that the United States will have three races on the calendar from next year.

F1 held two championship races in Vegas in the early 1980s around Caesars Palace, with Alan Jones and Michele Alboreto claiming the wins in 1981 and 1982, respectively.

There was a reason, though, that it was only on the calendar for two years: the track was not really any good.

Overtaking was at a premium, and the overall racing spectacle left a lot to be desired as F1 tried to integrate the energy of the entertainment capital of the world in with the pinnacle of motorsport, but it was an ultimately unfruitful effort.

This time though, a new street circuit consisting of 14 corners will be used, and it features a back straight along the strip that is over two kilometres long.

READ: Mercedes’ plan to gain on Ferrari and Red Bull suffers blow ahead of Australian GP

For context, that is more than the length of the 1.2 kilometre home straight in Mexico and around the same as the pit straight in Baku.

The addition of Vegas now means that there will be three races in the USA, and it could also mean that one of this year’s races has to go. It has been suggested that the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard will be sacrificed.

Journalist Ben Hunt wonders if Monaco, which does not actually have a contract this year but a one-year deal was agreed for 2022, will be next on the chopping block.

Article continues below

“Undoubtedly the Las Vegas deal is good news for F1. But it will come at the cost of the French GP. With historical races now under threat, how long before Monaco, who pays zero fees, feels the axe?” he tweeted.

One user disagreed with his assessment, affirming that third race in the US is for marketing reasons, and suggests that F1 is jeopardising its sporting status.

“Struggling to see the ‘good for F1’ personally Ben,” they replied.

“Good for the Americans’ dream of WWF1 [referring to World Wrestling Entertainment] and $$$, of no value to us ‘legacy fans’. The sport as-was since 1950 us being deconstructed and reconstructed as an American ‘product’, not a sport.”

79 races have been held in Germany under the guises of the German Grand Prix and the European Grand Prix, with Nordschleife, its shorter variation the Nurburgring and Hockenheim all being utilised.

One fan is dismayed that, while F1 has three races in America, there are still none in Germany after it hosted its last race in 2020.

“France deserves to have a race as does Germany as they have contributed so much to motorsport and F1 history. Why does the USA deserve 2 extra at their expense??” the exasperated fan tweeted.

READ: Verstappen and Norris joke about ‘Air Max’ after Saudi Arabian GP

The Belgian Grand Prix is also under threat as its contract runs out at the end of this year, but the termination of the Russian Grand Prix owing to its invasion of Ukraine means that there is a decent chance it will be retained.

“I don’t mind getting rid of the French GP. Nobody really liked that track. But it would be shameful to lose Spa,” tweeted another user.

The race in Vegas will take place in November next year, and will hold the unique distinction of running at 10pm on a Saturday night.