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today is Jan 30, 2023

The team behind Formula 1’s new Las Vegas Grand Prix aim for the event to be on the world championship calendar far longer than its initial three-year deal.

F1 first raced in the city in 1981 on a track in a casino car park. However it failed to attract much local interest and was dropped after a second race the following year.

Earlier this year F1 confirmed a new street circuit in Las Vegas will hold a race from next year. Emily Prazer, the senior vice president of commercial at the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix company which is organising and promoting the race, discussed preparations for the series’ return to the Nevada city in a recent BlackBook Motorsport Forum event.

Unlike other grands prix, F1 owner Liberty Media has a direct financial stake in this event as it will run partly on a stretch of land it has purchased and the organising company is also part of Liberty’s business portfolio. The race’s contract may only run to 2025, but those behind the grand prix clearly hope it will continue far longer than that.

“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.

F1’s first visit to Las Vegas was not a success “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 there has been a lot of enthusiasm in launching the grand prix from the most influential parties in Las Vegas, from casino owners to city governance, there have also been expectations placed on F1 to ensure there is minimised disruption to the city’s workforce. The street circuit which will hold the race encircles several casinos which are major tourist destinations, so attention had to be paid to ensuring these could still operate.

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“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 explained.

Las Vegas Street Circuit track map Track data: Las Vegas Street Circuit “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 race will be the third American round on the 2023 F1 calendar. It joins the United States Grand Prix, which has been held in Austin since 2012, and the Miami Grand Prix, which was added to the schedule this year.

“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. The teams promoting the other two US races “work hand in hand with each other” and the Las Vegas team to be “completely complementary to one another” as events, she added.

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