The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

Disastrous Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix

Robert Monti
Race car of F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.

The first-ever Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix took place on November 18, 2023, making this the third Grand Prix taking place in the United States. However, the discontent from locals, tourists, fans, and F1 drivers alike has raised questions about F1’s direction going forward. From poor construction causing damage to one of the cars to a lawsuit from fans, this Grand Prix was nothing short of a disaster.

In recent years, Las Vegas has emerged as a booming sports hub. This is apparent with the next Super Bowl taking place in Vegas and the NBA Summer League also taking place in Vegas just recently. This boom of sports did not exempt the colorful city from being home to one of the tracks for Formula 1, however, this is where the criticism against the Las Vegas GP (Grand Prix) began.

Upon construction, the Las Vegas Strip, filled with iconic landmarks, has been blocked by grandstands, fences, and track barriers. This includes the fountains of the well-known Bellagio Hotel, which were completely shut off in place for grandstands. The Venetian Canals and Mirage Volcano were also shut down due to the Grand Prix. Even the palm trees that are seen across the Vegas Strip were removed to frame the track. These alterations caused heightened frustration from tourists as they were unable to see the iconic landmarks the Las Vegas Strip harbors. AP News also reported that unfortunately, a worker passed away during the construction of the grandstands.

The construction of the track also proved to be insufficient. The car of Carlos Sainz, a racer of the Scuderia Ferrari team, was damaged after hitting a drain cover roughly eight minutes into the first practice. Although no fault of his own, Sainz was given a 10th-grid penalty, meaning that he was forced to start lower down in the race order despite the fault lying on the construction defect. The practice was then canceled, and fans were not happy. According to Reuters, Dimopoulos Law Firm and JK Legal & Consulting filed a lawsuit on behalf of 35,000 people who bought tickets for the practice, since none of the audience members of the GP were given an immediate or full refund after the cancellation. 

Discontent shared over the Vegas Grand Prix was also expressed by Max Verstappen, a racer of the Red Bull team, who is arguably the most decorated driver of the season due to his 19 out of 22 race wins this season. He described how he felt the Las Vegas GP weekend was “99% show, and 1% sporting event,” due to the opening ceremony. The ceremony consisted of many musical stars, such as Steve Aoki and Keith Urban, and a section where the drivers would emerge out of giant boxes and wave to the crowd. When asked about the ceremony, Verstappen deemed it unnecessary, “For me you can all skip these things,” he says. “It’s not about the singer, it’s just standing up there, you look like a clown.” 

Moreover, in an interview with Japolnik, Las Vegas resident Lisa Lindell who deals poker on the Las Vegas Strip commented about how the race was incredibly inconvenient. “Life as I knew it ended when that construction started.” She added that she “heard nothing but complaints from other resort corridor employees.”

While the F1 Vegas Grand Prix was dubbed to be an Extravaganza for the F1 world, it’s evident that it has negatively impacted fans, racers, residents, and tourists alike. F1 going forward should consider how it approaches the Vegas Grand Prix, as the first one proved to be a failure.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All The Scribe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • L

    Linda BroersJan 11, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    I as someone who lives here for MONTHS could not even get to the Strip.This all started mid Summer and ended around mid Dec.And it’s going to start again in 6 or 7 months again.WHAT A MESS.I will never say again how great Vegas is………..

  • S

    StuJan 10, 2024 at 6:02 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I know no one in this town that did well from F1 except politicians and the likes of MGM, Caesars and Wynn.
    Uber drivers got crushed for 6 months and the three days of racing they may as well not have worked, restaurant employees got sent home early and dealers made next to nothing.
    I say F1 stay away from Vegas. We don’t need or want you here