Las Vegas Grand Prix eyes on remaining on the F1 calendar

Las Vegas Grand Prix eyes on remaining on the F1 calendar

The organization behind the new Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix hopes the race will remain on the schedule of the world championship for much longer than its initial three-year agreement.

On a track on a casino parking lot, F1 had its inaugural city race in 1981. But because there was little local interest, it was abandoned after the second race the following year.

F1 announced earlier this year that a race will start taking place on a new street circuit in Las Vegas starting 2023. At a recent BlackBook Motorsport Forum event, Emily Prazer, senior vice president of commercial at the organization and promoter of the race, Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, spoke about the steps being taken to get the series back in the Nevada city.

In contrast to other grand prix, Liberty Media, the owner of Formula One, has a direct financial interest in this race because it will take place in part on property it has purchased and because the organizing firm is also a component of Liberty’s corporate holdings. Even though the contract for the race only lasts until 2025, people who support it obviously want it to go on for much longer.

“From our point of view, we purchased a piece of land with the intention of having a race here. I don’t think there’s any intention to only be here for three years. We want to be here for forever,” said Prazer. “This is such a unique market and somewhere that we think we can keep continuing to grow the sport.”

“So we’re very excited about that kind of permanent infrastructure that will be in place.”

“From our point of view and it’s definitely not something that’s ready to share more broadly but we’re looking at how that piece of land and what we do on it from a year-round perspective becomes an experience in Las Vegas like no other.”

Although the most powerful individuals in Las Vegas, including casino owners and the city government, have been very enthusiastic about the grand prix’s inauguration, there are also hopes that F1 will seek to minimize any disturbance to the city’s employees. 

Numerous casinos that are popular tourist locations are encircled by the street circuit where the race would take place, therefore care had to be taken to ensure they could continue to function.

“Significant planning has been going into daily meetings with resorts and casinos around how we ensure that the island we’re creating is completely accessible, mostly for staff,” Prazer added.

“One thing that we really didn’t factor in from our understanding is the shift change patterns and how many people actually work in Las Vegas in terms of that hotel industry.”

“So we are constructing bridges to make sure that people can come in and out of that inner circuit area as much as we can, and we’ve been very strategic about where we’re placing the really heavy [traffic] areas.”

The event will mark the third F1 American round in 2023 as it joins the Miami Grand Prix, which was added to the schedule this year, and the United States Grand Prix, which has been hosted in Austin since 2012.

“We’ve got such a good relationship between the three different US territories [hosting F1 races] that we’re working quite closely together to make sure that we maximise where we are in the US right now,” said Prazer.

She went on to say that the teams promoting the other two US races work hand in hand with each other and that the Las Vegas team is totally complementary to one another as an event.

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