F1 is coming back to Las Vegas, Nevada, for a mind-blowing street course that includes the world-famous Strip. The dates are November 16-18, 2023. With a race time of 10:00pm on Saturday night under the lights, this is certain to be an F1 spectacle unlike any other. Which gives you all day Sunday to recover.
Among the three US races on the ‘23 F1 calendar, tickets and packages for Vegas will command the highest premium with VIP prices in the six-figure range. As a journalist who covers both Formula One and Las Vegas, I’ll be exploring, documenting and publishing the myriad options available to F1 fans in terms of where to stay, how to plan an epic weekend and what else to do while you’re in town.
First, let’s review the course. It will be 3.8 miles (6.12km) with top speeds of 212 mph (342 km/h). There will be 17 corners, three straights and two DRS zones. This makes it one of the longer and faster courses on the calendar. Think Baku and Monza.
Liberty Media, which owns Formula One, recently acquired 39 acres just east of the Strip at the corner of E. Harmon Ave. and Koval Ln. This is where a new and permanent pit/paddock facility will be constructed. Of course, this will also be the start/finish grandstands. One can only speculate about how over-the-top this facility will be, given that this is Las Vegas and it does appear F1 wants to plant its US flag here—perhaps even its global flag. We’re hearing the facility is being designed as a year-round F1 experience destination that will build on the success of the Drive to Survive Netflix series, which is largely credited with F1’s boom in US popularity.
Judging from the map above, this appears to be the course layout: From the start, turn one is a tight left followed by a wider-radius left (2) and then a sweeping right (3) onto Koval Ln. for the first straight, which should be a DRS zone. This leads to a 90-degree right turn (5) and then a sweeping left (6) with a chicane (7-8) that takes drivers (9) onto Sands Ave. Turns 10 and 11 appear to be a quick right-left (flat out?) before a heavy braking zone and left turn (12) that puts drivers onto the Strip. Turn 12 is the intersection where the Wynn/Encore hotels are to the drivers’ right and the Palazzo at the Venetian is on their left (inside the turn). The Strip, of course, is the main straight, where drivers will hit maximum speeds as they cruise by The Venetian, The Mirage, Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio and Paris. This will certainly be a DRS zone, where we’ll see much of the overtaking. Drivers will probably hit the brakes in front of The Cosmopolitan and Planet Hollywood as they setup for the left turn (14) onto E. Harmon Ave. The Aria and CityCenter complex overlook this key corner. After another chicane (15-16), drivers enter the final straight and final turn (17), which should be flat out, that leads back to the pits and start/finish. What a lap! And that’s just one of 50.
At this point, there are more questions than answers in terms of when tickets will go on sale, what types of packages hotels will offer, the best places to be for the race (outside the Paddock Club) and how to get the most from your first F1 Las Vegas experience. That’s what I’ll be exploring over the coming months as we prepare for the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix. Please follow me at Forbes (button at the top of the page) and my socials (links below) to get all of the details.