Las Vegas F1 street track artists impressions

Las Vegas race date leaked, indicating race start times outside USA

2023 F1 season

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The date of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, one of multiple new rounds being added to the 2023 Formula 1 calendar, has been revealed in a letter leaked on social media.

The race, which will be the first grand prix to take place on a Saturday since 1985, will be held on November 18th. It is expected to form a double-header with next year’s season finale at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, which will take place the weekend after.

F1’s third race in the USA was announced in March. At the time the series indicated it would take place in November next year.

The leaked letter to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority shows the event will be held after the mid-November change in daylight savings hours in the region. With the race due to take place at 10pm local time on Saturday night, it will therefore start at 6am on Sunday for viewers in the UK and 5pm for those in Melbourne, Australia.

A five-year deal has been agreed for the race, keeping it on the F1 calendar until at least 2027.

Las Vegas street circuit for 2023 F1 race - track map
Report: First look at F1’s new Las Vegas street circuit
F1 is purchasing a plot of land for its pit and paddock facility. Last week Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said the series intends to have “ongoing activations and events” at the site “even when the race is not underway”.

“The main paddock building, which is estimated to be 900 feet long, the length of three football fields will be exciting, and we’re actively working with potential commercial partners to expand our opportunities there,” Maffei explained.

“We are building out the F1 team in Vegas across sales, marketing, race operations, and more. We are leveraging local expertise and talent as well, including the LVCVA and our partners at Live Nation.”

He added F1 is “still working through the specifics on capacity” around the 6.1-kilometre, 14-turn street track, which will incorporate a section of the famous Las Vegas Strip.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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76 comments on “Las Vegas race date leaked, indicating race start times outside USA”

  1. Yawn. Delete and sack this track. Boring with no characteristics. Worse than Sochi Autodrom.

    1. some racing fan
      8th August 2022, 23:23

      That’s unfair. Sochi is down there with not just the worst F1 circuits, but the worst circuits in history ever. This layout may look simplistic but it will probably generate good racing.

      1. Rather watch a Sochi race than a Valencia race.

        1. I would agree if not for the 2012 European GP.

    2. Imagine criticizing a race so harshly before it even takes place 🤡

      I’m so fed up with hearing fans whinge about every damn new thing that the sport does. I remember complaints back in 1999 about Malaysia’s first race. Same with Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Baku, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and of course Russia. Every single one of those tracks except Russia has produced some of the most memorable and iconic races in the last 30 years.

      Meanwhile, those same fans will call for the return of Imola. A truly dull track for fans to watch racing unless it rains. They raved about Mugello, which also produced an incredibly boring race that was salvaged by a red flag.

      I’m not having it. I’ll call out that fan stupidity every time.

      1. Imola. A truly dull track for fans to watch racing unless it rains.

        And even when it does.

      2. @ajpennypacker
        The layout sucks. It has no high speed corners. It has no change of direction fast chicanes. It has only straights. ONLY STRAIGHTS. Where is the fun in driving straights? NOTHING. Sochi had at least many corners. People who only like this track, are only after for overtakes. This track is the worst in F1 I have ever seen. Boring to drive, and no characteristic. Teams should just insult and degrade this track because this is the worst track layout I have ever seen in my life. I rather race at Sochi or Valencia. Drivers will say they like it just to ensure that F1 pleases the United States.

        The other tracks you have mentioned, way better. All of those tracks have corners that require driver skill. This layout is just pure straights. PURE STRAIGHTS.

        1. some racing fan
          9th August 2022, 12:24

          There are at least 3 corners that are high speed (the three before the corner leading onto the long straight).

        2. The layout sucks. It has no high speed corners. It has no change of direction fast chicanes. It has only straights. ONLY STRAIGHTS. Where is the fun in driving straights? NOTHING.

          @krichelle And yet the old Hockenheim is probably one of the most requested F1 tracks for a return. Was that not pretty much just long straights with three double chicanes breaking them up until the stadium section? On paper, the layout looks bland. But the racing doesn’t have to be.

        3. it will probably have some of the best racing since the cars will just draft each other constantly. f1’s obsession with extremely sensitive, clinical wings and aero is its current detriment to good racing.

      3. @ajpennypacker Get out of here with your knowledge and insight, we’re being outraged here! I mean it’s not like we’ve been here a hundred times before or anything ;)

      4. @ajpennypacker I’d much rather watch a race on a track thats actually interesting to watch the cars race around, Which actually has some elevation, Some character & history over a lot of these dull, flat, featureless car park circuits.

        Imola is a great track thats popular with drivers & fans. It has a history, It has character, It offers a challenge, It has a great flow to it & it’s also actually a great spectacle just watching cars lapping it. Same with Mugello which was one of the best new additions of 2022 & a circuit i’d love to see F1 return to.

        These modern car park street circuits offer nothing of any interest. They have all these boringly long straights that only ever really produce boringly easy push of a button highway passing with DRS. They offer zero visual spectacle so watching cars lapping around them is also always quite boring.

        And listen to the drivers who are also starting to talk about how boring these modern car park circuits (And it’s the drivers who tend to refer to them as like driving around a car park) are and how much they love racing on tracks like Imola, Mugello, Spa, Suzuka, Silverstone etc… And its the same on the F1 games for the fans.

        If you did a poll where you asked every single fan that watches to to list 20 F1 ready tracks & then took the 20 highest polled to create the season I bet none of these car parks would make the cut while great tracks like Imola & Mugello would be around every year as they are the tracks that are fun to watch the cars driving around & they are the tracks that stir up & bring out the passion & emotion. The car parks don’t do that because they are sterile and boring.

        1. best new additions of 2022

          Meant 2020.

    3. Based on what, exactly?

    4. Yeah… but… all the pretty lights ‘n’ stuff!

  2. It doesn’t bode well as a layout..
    And here we go, bowing to the whims of the US audience with a Saturday race. Thin end of the wedge quite possibly.

    1. The layout sucks but I doubt the US specifically wanted it on a Saturday… Liberty want the race to happen at night and in order to not have the European viewing figures completely bomb (right at the end of the season), it has to start late at night in the US and it has to be on Sunday morning instead of Monday morning in Europe.

      1. ah good point on the Euro morning side of things, i was wondering why Saturday instead of Sunday. makes much more sense now, thanks!

    2. The layout reminds me a bit of the Sahkir variation in Bahrain. You wouldn’t want every race being like that of course, but it just might produce good racing.

    3. As a portion of that US audience, bite me.

      Take your old world snobbery and contempt and shove it somewhere. For decades, we’ve had to watch races in Europe and Asia races at all hours, and frankly, I’m not happy about a 10pm Saturday race. It seems designed to pander to the European base– if it were up to us, it would be 12 PM Pacific Time, or 2PM EST where I am. If it’s a night race, hold it at 5 AM.

      Your critical thinking skills are severely lacking if you think this is to cater to Americans.

      1. We’ll get real it’s a European sport in all but name, most of the fan base is here.

      2. This!!! Thank you @grat!

        US Eastern time zone here also! (New York/Miami side of USA) A 10pm Vegas start is going to be a 1am start on the more heavily populated US East coast, finishing around 3am barring any incidents. It’s probably the worst timing of any of the races on the entire calendar for us – Only the most loyal fans in the USA are going to be watching at 1am so it’s definitely not catering to US audiences and is unlikely to bring in huge viewing figures for Liberty. So it is definitely being done to appease the European fans.

        Would be nice to see an early evening start, and give F1 a fighting chance of gaining more US viewers. But instead, most of us hard core loyal fans will be creeping around the house, volume low, and muffling any cheers in the middle of the night while any other sensible people sleep.

      3. Not really liking the tone of the response grat though yes even being european, I can understand the frustration with F1 having for decades had quite inconvenient times for the USA, @petebaldwin seems right that this Saturday race at that time seems geared to make it watchable for USA, Europe and Australia (both of those on a Sunday indeed).

        Personally I prefer to have races early or late on Sunday especially with the ever increasing denseness of the calendar as it doesn’t disrupt other ways to spend the rest of the day and allows me also time with family and friends who aren’t into F1 (midday is about the worst in that respect, unless I am at the track ;-)

        1. In addition, as some other comments mention, Vegas by day is probably a bit of a hot mess, while during the night the darkness hides the grime and shows the sparkling lights which probably make it look a lot better.

        2. I’m annoyed, because ever since Liberty took over, the USA has been the go-to punching bag for all complaints about F1– Even when there’s no discernible connection whatsoever.

          So yes, I was a bit hostile. I actually toned down my initial response, however. :)

        3. Also, the time is 10pm local– that means for the East coast, that’s midnight.

          That’s not catering to US fans. That’s just daft.

      4. another E coast US person here, yeah not staying up for that one. gonna watch it Sunday morning, after-race report will dictate if i watch the whole thing or just the “race in 30” highlights

    4. How come?

    5. Most likely they don’t want to go head to head with the NFL, so they’re doing it on Saturday.

    6. The Saturday race is much better for Europeans and East Asians than Americans. It means the race is on Sunday morning in Europe, and Sunday early afternoon in East Asia rather than on Monday when neither region can watch live. Given that these two markets are much bigger that North-America, it makes sense that F1 caters to their preferences.

      People in the western US might still like the late start, but for people in the eastern US and especially in South America it’s a pretty bad time. It starts at 02:00 on Sunday for Brazil and Argentina. That’s pretty terrible.

  3. This seems like a stupid time for a race. Obviously it’s bad for European viewers but it’s also too late for a percentage of US viewers. 10-midnight is too late for families and East coast viewers are going to have to watch it early morning or the next day with everyone else.

    I can’t see who it benefits…

    1. I agree the race time is a bit odd; it will be “dark” at 18:00 local time on Nov. 18 in Las Vegas, I would have expected a 19:00 local time would be ideal at least for the views in the Americas.

      1. Sky pay more than anyone else for F1 coverage so they’ll have a big say in what time it starts. They’d have had it start even later if they could.

    2. Americans don’t watch F1. There are more fans than there used to be and I have actually met one where I hadn’t the last 30 years, but this blip of Americans watching this will be short and not very big. It’s going to end up like NASCAR when it had its moment. They will get the American audience and then bend all the rules to try and keep them and then in 10 years F1 will be unrecognizable to “real” fans and the fickle bandwagon fans will be long gone. Liberty will sell the desiccated corpse to the Saudis. Americans don’t watch F1 and never will.

      1. some racing fan
        8th August 2022, 23:35

        “Americans don’t watch F1” that is such a typically cynical, ignorant, short-sighted European (particularly British) view of the American relationship with F1. Just because it’s not as popular over here doesn’t mean not a single one of the 330 million people don’t watch it. And I’m happy to say that because F1 has been marketed so effectively over here that it has become more popular ever since. I am of the opinion that watching F1 right now is a fad over here, but hopefully the momentum keeps up to the point where it becomes thoroughly integrated- and a Vegas night race would certainly help with that.

      2. Wasn’t the idea of having more events in the Americas to change that though @darryn!

        The timing is odd, but I guess they are trying to balance it between being watch-able in the Americas/USA (late night), Australia and East-Asia (afternoon on Sunday) and Europe (quite early morning) where the biggest audiences are.

        Personally I am a fan of getting up late (or staying up late) for a race since it means I have the day to spend with family/friends. And with the modern the view on demand possibilities of F1TV (and other platforms) it’s become easier to watch at convenient times, which I often do with races that are on Sunday afternoons, since I usually do have something else to do at that time.

    3. some racing fan
      8th August 2022, 23:28

      It’s supposed to benefit European audiences and everyone east of there. They make the argument that the Far East races (Japan, China, Australia, and Malaysia pre-2018) start at local times which would facilitate morning viewing in Europe). When Long Beach was being run in the 70s and early 80s that race started at 1 pm (I think), which is 9pm UK time and 10pm Western Euro time.

      But quite honestly Vegas during the day from a visual perspective looks like a graveyard- it’s depressing. Vegas really comes alive during the night.

      1. Long Beach was being run in the 70s and early 80s that race started at 1 pm (I think), which is 9pm UK time and 10pm Western Euro time

        You mean Central European time (not Western European, which is basically UK with no offset)?

        1. some racing fan
          9th August 2022, 12:28

          Yes

  4. Just a guess, the places with interesting circuits are unlikely to be big, modern tourist cities–unless they have existing tracks or space. Build where there are elevation changes, and not 90deg turns, i.e. not in a city. IMO this is how F1 died off in the US before. Parking lot “circuits” in touristy locations. Sorry to the rest of the world that you have to watch this.

  5. So much for the geographical clustering of the events, what part of a US West Coast-Middle East double header is geographically clustered?

    1. Baffling indeed. I was thinking about drivers and staffs that have to overcome massive jet-lags, not great.

    2. some racing fan
      8th August 2022, 23:44

      I just can’t believe that is going to happen. A direct flight from Los Angeles (the nearest major city to Vegas with direct flights to the Middle East) to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways is 16 hours over 11 time zones. The Abu Dhabi final is likely going to be on December 2.

      1. But Abu Dhabi GP is at 5am Pacific time, so the real differene in time is 7hrs from Vegas GP. I’m sure drivers and teams will not operate in Pacific time since the race is at 10pm. They’ll wake up late and go to bed late.

        1. That’s an interesting point satellite, probably true, so depending on where they are coming from (Japan, Singapore, europe?), it might not be too bad a jetlag, though still some very long flights not far from each other.

      2. @some racing fan November 26 for Abu Dhabi based on the info given or got thus far.

    3. @xenn1 Yes, the distance is vast (13,182.55 km specifically by air), but so is Sao Paulo-Abu Dhabi at 12,114.51 km (similar to Sao Paulo-Qatar last season), so not hugely different travel-wise & don’t forget LV race occurs on Saturday, so slightly longer gap until the following event than typically with consecutive-weekend events.
      Nevertheless, grouping LV with COTA & Mexico would be better for travel logistics.

      1. @jerejj yes you are correct, that’s not the problem i have with it though. Last year, or any year before that for that matter, nobody was talking about clustering the events based on location. This year they said they’re doing that to reduce travel costs, and the first hints we get of the calendar point directly towards the opposite direction. It’s the virtue signaling i don’t like.

        1. @xenn1 I agree. Somewhat contradictory.

  6. some racing fan
    8th August 2022, 23:43

    I just can’t believe that is going to happen. A direct flight from Los Angeles (the nearest major city to Vegas with direct flights to the Middle East) to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways is 16 hours over 11 time zones. The Abu Dhabi final is likely going to be on December 2.

  7. some racing fan
    9th August 2022, 0:04

    So here’s the thing. A lot of people are complaining about when this race is supposed to take place. I wonder: have any of you seen the Caesars Palace GP’s and not just how bad the circuit was, but how awful a spectacle they were? (Or even the ’07 Vegas Champ Car race, which was actually a pretty nice track). Having a race during the day in Vegas is an awful idea. Take it from someone who has been there before: there is such a huge contrast between Vegas during the day and Vegas during the night. Vegas looks barely alive during the day and alive and well during the night. The neon lights give it a unique atmosphere.

    Vegas is also a place you either love or you hate. Vegas is far from my favorite place in the world: I hate the tobacco and nicotine-smelling hotel lobbies and casinos, the slot machines in McCarran Airport, the fake replicas of world monuments, walking down the sidewalks of the strips which are covered in gentlemen’s club paper ads, the in-your-face gaudiness and tackiness, among other things. But there are a few things to like about Vegas: there are a lot of good to superb restaurants of all kinds (including buffets, believe it or not) and it can be a lot of fun for younger people. And if you like card games, then it can be fun.

    Personally, I like that layout for the same reason I liked the old Hockenheim circuit (hear me out): it’s not much of a driver’s track but it’s clearly going to be great for spectators and will very likely generate a lot of good racing. And like the old Hockenheim circuit, it’s very, very fast- one simulation of the track showed it to be the fastest circuit on the calendar- even faster than Monza.

    1. some racing fan
      9th August 2022, 0:06

      Also: from 2024 and beyond, I hope this race is held around late April, just before the European season starts, and so they can pair the Mexican GP with this round. Holding this race in mid-November is ideal for the day, but a night race means that it’s going to be a bit on the cold side.

      1. I like what you are saying here some racing fan, thanks for that perspective. I hope it will be an interesting race, as clearly we are going to have it on the calendar for a while. That (and the fact they own it so can’t offload costs and trouble to another party) also means that Liberty need to make it a success and that they have a lot of control over when to race, one would think.

      2. @some racing fan
        Yes, the ambient can get quite cold, but perhaps not that low.
        The lowest figures on the 16th, 17th, & 18th were 13, 12, & 7 degrees, respectively, last year, but these are for the night, so a few degrees higher at 22:00.
        Moving to April wouldn’t change anything for Mexico as this event would still stay in the late-season phase.

        1. some racing fan
          9th August 2022, 21:16

          Factor in the very low humidity with those temps, and you’ve got some very cold conditions.

  8. The start time seems designed to make sure no one is watching.

    1. @mr-pug Definitely not unideal for European viewers or those further east.

      1. @jerejj The start time for previous flyaway races has either been 2PM local time to boost local attendance and viewership or an afternoon to early evening European time to maximize international viewership. 7 AM for Europe isn’t awful compared to some of times other regions experience over the year but it is still far earlier than most races. Admittedly east Asia and Australia do have good start times but I doubt a street race in the US is going to rake in the viewers from those areas.

        1. @mr-pug Baku’s start time was linked to Le Mans 24H & European race start times don’t necessarily maximize the worldwide audience, but otherwise, I see what you mean.

  9. Joe Saward effectively leaked this in his most recent notebook blog, so nothing new anymore, or at least not to me & others who read his site.
    Grouping LV with COTA & Mexico would be better, considering they’re already in the late-season phase.
    Oh well, everything will become clear eventually.
    BTW, the clock change occurs on November’s first Sunday, so the 5th for next year, so not mid-November.

  10. And i was planning to ask the monday off to watch if at 5AM monday…
    If they have to hold it on Saterday evening select it 1 hour after the sun goes down and i will coop watching it even if it’s at 2-3AM (for me GMT+1) that is the spirit of racing all over the world…. same as watching the GP of Japan early race for me and i love it.

  11. 5pm for those in Melbourne, Australia

    Amazing! We’re getting more 1-5am races over the years so 5PM to watch a race in Vegas sounds incredible. Hope it goes ahead as planned.

    1. Nice change right.

  12. Surely this is mostly driven by the need to minimise the amount of time that the strip needs to be closed. I suspect they only got the green light for this event on the basis of a maximum of 2 days shutdown.

    Having been to Vegas a couple of times, having this as a night race is a must, the strip really comes alive after dark.

  13. Might be past a few drivers bed times – have they cleared this with Lando’s mum?

  14. Could all this investment into racing in the US, particularly here with the pits complex, as the popularity of the sport grows be thrown into turmoil when a bunch of European based F1 teams block an entry into F1 from a team backed by one of its greatest motorsport hero’s. Is this the sort of event that could then turn this fan base off the sport as if we are not interested in there teams why should they be interested in ours.

  15. Mmm. Really not sure about targeting races like this when things like Laguna exist and we’re not using it. The ‘experiment’ earlier this year was terrible IMO, the racing was bad, no running off-line, poor layout, dangerous in places even AFTER DRIVERS POINTED IT OUT VERY CLEARLY and the ‘show’ was cringingly over-hyped. Yes that’s mostly opinion but if that’s the way the show is going, I’m not looking forward to the future of the sport.

    Sometimes I think the idea of a race series is lost a little these days. A mix of tracks – some fast, some slow, some flat, some bumpy, some more of a driving challenge than others. How you can leave tracks like Spa which are a really good drivers track, and go to things like this…

    What is the future of F1? Will drivers want to race around tracks like this all year, will the best drivers look elsewhere for a better series? Who wants to aim for F1 to drive around a load of car parks and boring flat featureless tracks – being continually ignored by the powers that be on any issues raised, etc.? The threat of the teams forming their own series will only grow with things like this IMO.

    It’s not just about ‘old’ vs ‘new’ tracks. It’s about variety. Some don’t give spectacular races that’s fine as long as there’s something else to it – a good driver challenge for example. Giving the drivers bad tracks to race around isn’t going to help the future of F1.

    Maybe this shows just what fans they are targeting; casual fans in the cities that care more about the overall ‘feel’ of the show than the actual F1 race – but there are many instances of sports or other things concentrating on the ‘casual’ fan, and getting bitten on the butt by it later when they all stop caring (because they’re casual) and you’ve killed off your ‘hardcore’. That analogy is a little OTT right now but I do think it’s going that way.

    1. but there are many instances of sports or other things concentrating on the ‘casual’ fan, and getting bitten on the butt by it later when they all stop caring (because they’re casual) and you’ve killed off your ‘hardcore’.

      Nascar been an example in the motor sport world.

      Nobody I know (Both family, friends, neighbours & online friends I made on BBS boards, Forums & comment sections such as this) that used to be really into nascar watches it anymore purely because of the direction they went with the more artificial, gimmicky & for show introductions over the past 20 years or so.

  16. Strange time schedule. It’s okay for US westcoast and close to perfect for Aussies I guess. But really surprised they will start after midnight for the US eastcoast.

  17. It just looks as if they tried to fit an oval within the city

  18. I think this is an event that is doomed to fail once all the hype, glitz & glamour of the first year wears off.

    I think the first year will be like Miami was a few months ago. A ton of build up creating a ton of hype using celebrities & stuff. A race that will fall flat on a circuit that fails to excite. But then as each year comes & goes that will due down & eventually like basically every other car park street circuit it will fall off the schedule.

  19. The circuit looks like a DEAD PIG.

    1. Or a Moomin laying on its back

  20. “the length of three football fields will be exciting”

    MURICABABY

  21. One out of three races is well done.
    Circuit of the Americas is an excellent track.

    Miami is a financial boon, but not a really good track for racing.

    Las Vegas track is not yet built. Most comments are against the design for racing. A few comments might like the track. Again, the finances are the main point, but the racing.

    As a long-time fan of racing, especially for Grand Prix, racing is the best consideration and the joy. Not from the glitz and glamour of the money factor.

    1. “Again, the finances are the main point, but not the racing.”

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