Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship
Formula One is set to stage an event like no other this weekend as the F1 circus rolls into Las Vegas for a street circuit Grand Prix. The renowned Las Vegas Boulevard – otherwise known as the Strip – has been converted into a fully-fledged racing track for the three-day extravaganza.
Set against one of the most recognisable skylines in the world, the race is expected to be one of the most spectacular sporting events of the year.
The ‘Las Vegas Strip Circuit’ is 3.8 miles long and consists of 17 corners that run through the very heart of the city. The track starts on a previously disused piece of land to the east of the Stip was was purchased by F1’s US owners Liberty Media in 2022 for an eye-watering £196 million ($240 million).
Although the circuit itself is temporary, the infrastructure is not, with permanent pit lane garages and hospitality facilities constructed including a high-end Paddock Club. With a pit building the length of three NFL fields and 28,000 square foot video wall on its roof, you won’t be able to miss it.
Las Vegas is never quiet but the F1 weekend is set to be extraordinarily busy. Las Vegas GP CEO Renee Wilm told Sky Sports: “We have about 100,000 tickets of our own inventory bringing people to the event and there are many, many watch parties around the valley which will also be filling additional hotel rooms even for those people who are not fortunate enough to be able to be on track.
“This will be an epically-attended weekend in Las Vegas.”
The investment in this unique Grand Prix is huge but so is the interest. According to Sky Sports, it has been forecasted that the F1 weekend will bring £980 million ($1.2 billion) in economic value to the Las Vegas area.
That such astronomical figures could be achieved is testimony to how popular Formula One has become Stateside. This year has seen three Grand Prix held in the USA, with Miami and Austin, Texas hosting the previous two American events.
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The sport’s growing popularity has been greatly aided by the Netflix documentary Drive to Survive, which follows life on the F1 circuit.
Nothing is ever done on a modest scale in Las Vegas and this weekend’s Grand Prix will be no exception. A lavish opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday, featuring live performances from John Legend, global superstar DJ Tiesto, will.i.am and Thirty Seconds to Mars. All 20 F1 drivers including world champion Max Verstappen and British star Lewis Hamilton will be present.
Whether the actual race lives up to the grandeur of its hype and surroundings remains to be seen, but as long as the cash tills keep ringing, the Sin City stakeholders will probably not care either way.
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