F1 has banned the use of red, yellow, and blue colours on the Las Vegas Sphere to spare drivers from distraction during the race event.
The FIA and Formula 1 have decided to ban the use of yellow, red, and blue on the Las Vegas’ MSG Sphere during any track action this weekend in order to avoid any possible distractions for the drivers.
The Sphere has become a well-known landmark in the urban setting in just two months after launch. Being the largest LED screen in the world the display is a cutting-edge entertainment medium that is revolutionizing live entertainment.
Its exterior surface is made up of about 1.2 million LED pucks placed eight inches apart. There are 48 separate LED diodes in each puck and each diode can display 256 million variations in colour.
Irish rock group U2 uses the Sphere while on tour in Las Vegas, but F1 and MSG worked out a deal for F1 to occupy the arena over the course of F1’s event in the city of lights, while also allowing FOM to use it in their advertising campaigns.
The Sphere sparked conversation even before the Formula 1 arrival due to the fact that it is often used for large-scale emoji projections or concerts. The landmark will be clearly visible to the drivers as they speed into Turn 5 and will stay in their field of vision through Turn 6.
It would be extremely upsetting for a driver to have such bright scenes so close to them while driving, but Formula 1 has made an effort to mitigate that issue by blocking specific colors from appearing while the cars are in motion.
In an attempt to avoid confusion while maintaining the drivers’ attention on important light panels around the outside of the track, three colors—red, yellow, and blue—will not be displayed.
These three colors were picked because they serve a purpose on the LED trackside panels which display circuit conditions during a race. A return to the pits is indicated by red, an imminent risk is indicated by yellow, and a faster car is about to pass you with blue.
Verstappen joked that if the organizers made a mistaken decision, he could “shunt into the wall.”
“I hope they put something nice on it,” said Verstappen. “That definitely would be a distraction for me, I might shunt into the wall so let’s not do that.”
However, AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo was not concerned.
“It’s very obvious, it’s huge and we’re not going to miss it,” he said. “But truthfully when you get in that kind of rhythm and that zone you’re aware of everything but you don’t really notice it.
“I got to my hotel yesterday and it was only this morning that I noticed these massive pieces of art on the wall. I didn’t even see them because yesterday I went straight to the room, straight to the bed.
“My attention and my focus was there so I wasn’t even aware of the other things in the room. So it’s a little bit like that.”
Mercedes driver George Russell believes that despite its massive size, the Sphere won’t cause any distractions for drivers.
“We’ve often got LED lights around us, but never so much in your peripheral,” he said. “And it’s a pretty spectacular building to say the least.
“I recognise they’ve banned those three colours but I think with the vastness of that, if I saw a big red ball on there I don’t think I’d be backing off thinking it was a red flag.
“But I think that’s one of the exciting things about this race is we’re going into a bit of unknown territory with bits and pieces like that.”