Guess what’s finally here? The latest addition to the Formula 1 calendar, and boy, it’s one of the coolest places for a race. As we gear up for the last two rounds of the season in the good ol’ US of A, let’s chat about what’s buzzing in Las Vegas. Yep, it’s Vegas, baby! You’ll likely get tired of hearing that, but the excitement is real. Formula 1 is hitting up Sin City, cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard, or as everyone calls it, The Strip.
Much to Ferrari’s (and the fan’s) dismay, the Las Vegas Grand Prix didn’t get off to a flying or colourful start. During the initial FP1 session held on Friday evening, car number 55 driven by Carlos Sainz sustained heavy damage caused by one of the manholes found on the street track.
The Spaniards car sustained damage to the overall chassis, floor, battery and the engine. To make things worse for the Scuderia, the FIA and the stewards did not allow a derogation for the parts that need to be replaced, and thus Carlos Sainz will be served with a grid penalty for the Grand Prix.
Pulling off this race has been a massive task, but the spectacle is guaranteed, thanks to this incredible location. Picture racing between dazzling resorts all lit up on a Saturday night – it’s going to be epic. And trust me, there’s a lot more happening around the race itself.
Things officially kick off with a bang on Wednesday night at the opening ceremony. Picture this: music legends rubbing shoulders with the drivers. Then, on Thursday evening, the track action revs up, leading to the night race extravaganza on Saturday.
Now, let’s talk about the track. The Las Vegas circuit’s location is mind-blowing, but the track layout was no afterthought. They’ve been all about good racing from the get-go.
Check this out – a purpose-built pit and paddock complex that’ll make you feel like you’re in a stadium. Then, there’s a killer long straight down to the Sphere, another jaw-dropping feature. This stretch sets the stage for the first DRS zone, promising loads of overtaking opportunities as racers zoom into the braking zone at Turn 5.
The track gets pretty technical after that, with a sweeping chicane leading into Turn 12 and a left-hander onto The Strip. Brace yourself for a flat-out run of over a mile – almost two kilometers – through a slight kink at Turn 13. Then, get ready for heavy braking at a three-part chicane at Turns 14-16.
This layout is expected to deliver top speeds that can compete with Monza. But don’t worry, it’s not just about speed; there should be plenty of chances for overtaking. Whether it’s using DRS or hitting the brakes at the end of those two long straights, it’s going to be action-packed. And keep an eye on Turn 1 – that’s bound to see some serious action too.
Now, let’s talk about the driver battles heating up. As we approach the end of the season, the fight for final positions is getting intense. Sergio Perez looks pretty secure in second place after Interlagos, but don’t count out Lewis Hamilton. If Mercedes bounces back to their pre-Brazil form, Hamilton could close the gap and keep things uncertain heading into the final race. The margin is 32 points, so Hamilton needs to outscore Perez by at least seven points to keep the Mexican from locking in second place.
But that’s not all. Keep an eye on Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris. Alonso’s back in the game after a third-place finish in Brazil, and Norris has been a force to be reckoned with, finishing second six times in the past 11 races.
Switching gears to the Constructors’ Championship, Aston Martin and McLaren are the ones to watch. The battle for fourth between these two teams took an unexpected turn in Brazil. McLaren outscored Aston by a point, but both teams are in the mix. Aston Martin’s response in Brazil adds to the intrigue, and McLaren has been strong almost everywhere lately.
The fight for second place in the Constructors’ Championship is close, with Mercedes leading Ferrari by 20 points. But the gap has been shrinking since the summer break, and Ferrari is determined to keep it tight until the final round.
There’s a lot at stake up and down the grid. AlphaTauri’s recent form is closing in on Williams in seventh place, and Williams sees Vegas as a chance to shine. So, get ready for a pivotal weekend in this fierce competition.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
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