No support races at Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix · RaceFans

The Las Vegas Grand Prix, Formula 1’s newest addition to its calendar, will not feature any support races.

Ticket prices for the November street race, which will feature F1 drivers racing along the famous Strip, begin at $500 for “standing room only” three-day general admission passes and rise to $10,000 for four-day “Skybox” hospitality. But while even the cheapest tickets include “all-inclusive food and non-alcoholic beverages”, F1 will be the only racing on offer.

The absence of support races is partly a consequence of the unusual schedule arrangements for a race which will take place in the centre of a major tourist destination. The event has been put on with the agreement of local casino owners who are eager to minimise the disruption to their businesses caused by the closure of surrounding roads.

Instead of the usual Friday to Sunday schedule, F1’s Las Vegas weekend will run from Thursday to Saturday, with all track sessions taking place after sunset. First and second practice will be held at 6:30pm and 10pm on Thursday respectively. Final practice and qualifying will take place during the same time slots the following day and the race will begin at 10pm on Saturday night – the first grand prix held outside of a Sunday since 1985.

Las Vegas Street Circuit track map
Track data: Las Vegas Street Circuit

The total amount of track time over the three-day weekend could therefore be as little as five-and-a-half hours, assuming there are no significant stoppages.

F1 is constructing a dedicated paddock facility for the Las Vegas race. A 6.1-kilometre course has been mapped out featuring 17 corners. A three-year deal has been agreed for the grand prix but city authorities recently approved a request to permit F1’s use of the public roads used by the circuit for up to 10 years.

The Las Vegas GP is one of three rounds in the USA on the 2023 F1 calendar. Last year’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix was supported by W Series and Porsche Sprint Challenge North America. W Series was also due to support the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas prior to the series’ collapse mid-season, though the Masters Historics and Endurance Legends events for classic F1 cars did go ahead.

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The last F1 race weekend to feature no support races was the first Qatar Grand Prix in 2021, which was added to the calendar at short notice due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix will feature pairs of support races for Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East.

F1 returns to Las Vegas this year for the first time since its short-lived race in the car park of the Caesar’s Palace casino. That event was held from 1981 to 1982 and featured support races including America’s Can-Am series. At one stage the promoters announced plans to hold a joint event for F1 and the CART IndyCar series on the circuit, but that was blocked by the FIA.

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