Formula 1’s President and CEO Stefano Domenicali has added more on the confirmed deal to race on the streets of Las Vegas adding a third US venue to the calendar, calling it the “perfect place to be” for F1.
The confirmation of the return of the Las Vegas GP represents a huge milestone for the championship after Liberty Media purchased the sport in 2017, realising an ambition held by F1’s former owners led by Bernie Ecclestone and subsequently former chief executive Chase Carey.
Unlike the previous race location, in the car park of Caesars Palace, this time around F1 will race on a 3.8 mile, 14-corner circuit which incorporates the famous Las Vegas Strip as a long back straight and passes the Bellagio Hotel, Paris, Treasure Island and Caesars Palace itself. In fact, a handful of casino and hotel groups, including Caesars Palace, Wynn Las Vegas, MGM and the Venetian, are a part of the promotion of the race itself.
Dominecali was present at last night’s press conference held beside the Strip, and with him was Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, who explained the thinking behind agreeing a deal with Formula 1.
Nevada is not only the sports capital of the world, but with Formula 1 – a truly global sport – we’re now the entertainment and sports capital of the world here in Las Vegas,” Sisolak stated. “We know the economic impact Formula 1 is going to have on this community is enormous. We’re anticipating 170,000 visitors to town to watch this race, they will accomodate 400,000 room nights which is absolutely amazing.
“The direct economic impact is approaching half a billion dollars and the indirect impact will be over a billion dollars. We could not be more proud of this… I predict this will be the iconic, flagship race of Formula 1 in a couple of years, that’s how well this is going to be received.”
Alongside the state Governor and the F1 boss, Liberty Media’s CEO Greg Maffei was also present for the announcement, laying down his hopes for the potential reach of the Grand Prix and comparing it the championship’s other events in the USA.
“One of the things that’s special about Formula 1 is its global nature, and when you see the audience that shows up in Miami it will be a global audience,” assured Maffei. “The audience that shows up in Austin is already a global audience. I’m absolutely positive that the audience that shows up in Las Vegas will be a global audience, it’s not just going to be the US audience.”
The race will be the first for several decades to not run its Grand Prix on a Sunday, instead taking place on the Saturday night to capture audiences worldwide without being compromised by the time zone. The eight hour time zone difference means the race will be broadcast early on the Sunday morning in the majority of Europe.
“I think it’s the perfect time and perfect slot in this context,” said Domenicali. “Formula 1 can not be static, it can not be showing a race in a certain position such as Saturday at 3pm, that would be a total mistake. That is the reason why we are flexible, it’s the correct moment to have this show in this context and I don’t see any problem on that.
“In terms of timing for in Europe the racing time we decided is 10pm, Saturday night is perfect because also that audience will be connected. If we’d done any earlier or later in the night everyone would still have been connected, there’s no doubt.”
Asked on whether finally securing and announcing an event on the streets of Las Vegas was the perfect scenario for the championship, Domenicali was confident in his assurances that it is the “perfect” location for the latest addition to the F1 calendar, which reportedly threatens the slot of an historic, existing race.
“I think the answer is absolutely yes because I think today we are a sport that needs to make sure the racing is real, but having the real racing in an incredible context is the perfect combination for what Formula 1 stands for today,” Domenicali said.
It’s emotion, it’s passion, it’s business, it’s relationship, it’s culture and it’s intensity and this is the reason why it’s the perfect place to be.” While the extent of the deal wasn’t mentioned in the press release, but Domenicali informed it to be of three years with the idea to extend further. In terms of the date for the 2023 event, Maffei noted that they have few more details to be sorted before finalising the exact date, believed to be around Thanksgiving.
The story was written by Danny Herbert
Here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHd79zyJfEs
Here’s what Stefano Domeniali said about calendar