Gird Your Gearbox: Las Vegas Gets Formula One

Formula One, or “F1” as the cool kids call it, has confirmed Las Vegas will host its newest race starting in Nov. 2023.

Or as we put it: “F1 in Las Vegas, it’s a vroom with a view!”

The Las Vegas Grand Prix will happen on a Saturday night, although the exact schedule hasn’t been announced. This is the first time a grand prix has been held on a Saturday in 38 years. They’re usually held on Sundays. Las Vegas is special like that.

Formula One a lot like NASCAR, just with more inconvenience and fancier jewelry.

This will mark the first F1 race in Las Vegas since 1982, and is expected to be a multi-year partnership between F1 and Las Vegas. The race also ran in 1981, but those two installments weren’t considered particularly successful. Those F1 races in the 1980s were held in the parking lot of Caesars Palace.

The new partnership between Formula One and Las Vegas could theoretically generate $1.25 billion dollars for Formula One (if it goes 10 years, the original agreement is for three years), and untold dollars for Las Vegas, especially its casino resorts.

Las Vegas casinos are seeing dollar signs, and a number have signed on as “Founding Partners,” including Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts and Wynn Las Vegas. “Presenting Partners” include MSG Sphere, Resorts World and The Venetian.

Financial specifics of the deal with F1 haven’t been made available, but the fee to host an F1 race can be as much as $40 million, and that doesn’t even include the cost of building the course.

Our sources say this will be the most Las Vegas has ever spent to lure and host an event in the history of Sin City. The expense, in fact, is expected to be more than hosting the Super Bowl and NFL draft, combined.

The actual return on investment from F1 remains to be seen, but Las Vegas is excitable about sports. See also the $750 million in public funding for Allegiant Stadium.

The F1 race will be 50 laps, run 3.8 miles and have 14 turns. That means the total race will run about 190 miles and take about two hours.

Top speeds are expected to be about 212 miles per hour. Or about 200 miles per hour more than a typical night on the Las Vegas Strip.

The track is a thing of beauty, and should make the race incredible even if F1 isn’t your thing. There’s just so much Vegas.

The course starts off-Strip, but runs in good part on the Las Vegas Strip. F1 cars will race by iconic Las Vegas hotels and landmarks.

Here’s a look at the course.

F1 says designers went through 31 different layouts before landing on this one. If you turn it upside down, it looks like an aroused manatee. Good luck unseeing that.

The route goes counterclockwise, starting and finishing on a site at E. Harmon Ave. and Koval Lane, currently home to the former Ice nightclub.

Drivers north up Koval, then take a hard right at Westchester Dr., going east. Cars will loop around the MSG Sphere, presumably completed by that time, ending up on Sands Ave. heading back toward The Strip.

The cars will hang a left onto The Strip for what amounts to a straightaway all the back to Harmon Ave. Then, it’s east on Harmon Ave. and they do all that again, 49 more times.

Yes, it looks to be a traffic cluster for everyone but the F1 drivers, but officials have tried to soothe nerves by saying the construction needed to make Vegas roads F1-ready will have “minimal impact to the public.”

If you believe that, we have a bridge at New York-New York you may be interested in purchasing.

F1 is expected to bring about 170,000 people to Las Vegas for each race. Watch those room rates soar!

While Strip closures and construction congestion and not being able to get a restaurant reservation even if you know a guy won’t be fun, we aren’t going to let that dampen the excitement around F1 which we don’t entirely get, honestly. It’s cars racing. A year-and-a-half from now.

Anyway, there’s been a lot of hoopla, so we’re going to jump on the Formula One bandwagon and say we couldn’t be more thrilled Las Vegas is hosting another immersive, game-changing car racing experience thingy!

Since we hope to avoid having to talk about F1 until a little closer to the race date, stay in the loop by visiting the official Las Vegas Grand Prix Web site.