Las Vegas Track Preview

Published on 11 November 2023 at 16:00

After 40 years Formula 1 returns to the City of Lights to host the Las Vegas Grand Prix


The 2023 Formula 1 season will host the penultimate round of the calendar around the City of Lights. While the anticipation remains high we shouldn’t forget that Formula 1 raced around Las Vegas over 40 years ago, in 1981 and 1982.


The last two races hosted in Las Vegas were branded as the Caesars Palace Grand Prix which hosted as the season finale in 1981 and 1982. It has produced some interesting facts:



  • Alan Jones won the maiden race around Las Vegas for Williams-Ford, 20 seconds ahead of Alain Prost and Bruno Giacomelli.
  • Nelson Piquet won the Driver’s Championship finishing fifth in the race by one point ahead of his rival Carlos Reutemann.


  • Michele Alboreto takes the chequered flag for Tyrell-Ford with a 27-second advantage ahead of John Watson and Eddie Cheever.
  • Keke Rosberg was declared the 1982 World Champion finishing fifth in the race, six points clear ahead of Didier Pironi who could not compete in the last four races leading up to the Caesars Palace Grand Prix.


And while the facts are staggering, Formula 1 will now race around the heart of the City of Lights. The new track will be 6.2 kilometres long, with 17 turns that speed its way past very prestigious locations such as the Bellagio, the Venetian and Caesars Palace.


With many corners remodelled to a layer of difficulty, mainly the twisty section between Turn 1 and Turn 4 in what was previously a parking lot. The section between Turn 5 to Turn 9 will see the drivers race through Westchester Lane and around the Sphere. And it doesn’t stop there the driver will have to apply their skill braking hard for the kink between Turn 14 and 16 to straighten the car for the high-speed run down to the chequered flag.


The counterclockwise circuit will have drivers racing for 50 laps which equates to 310 kilometres in total. According to an article from AutoSport, predicted lap times are projected around 1 minute and 30 seconds.


And add to the excitement, there are three high-speed stretches from Turn 4 to Turn 5 and from Turn 12 to Turn 14 which are the two DRS Zones with the final stretch stemming from Turn 16 past the start/finish line going into Turn 1.


But what makes the overtaking, so invigorating is the run from Turn 12 to Turn 14 is a 1.9-kilometre straight, one of the longest recorded on the Formula 1 calendar. So, chances for overtaking all the down to the end of the Las Vegas Strip may create some highlights.


So far it has been Red Bull and Max Verstappen that has dominated that American region of the Formula 1 2023 season, and given Red Bull’s straight-line speed, the Las Vegas circuit does add benefit to see them take the chequered flag first.


Weekend Schedule


Friday 17th November

  • Practice 1 – 4:30 am – 5:30 am (UK Time)
  • Practice 2 – 8:00 am – 9:00 am (UK Time)

Saturday 18th November

  • Practice 3 – 4:30 am – 5:30 am (UK Time)
  • Qualifying – 8:00 am – 9:00 am (UK Time)

Sunday 19th November

  • Las Vegas Grand Prix – 6:00 am (UK Time)


Aaron Teasdale

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