Formula 1 is just months away from a hotly anticipated return to Las Vegas, a race that promises to be one of the most-hyped in the history of the sport. The race is the latest in the Liberty Media era to be hosted on a challenging temporary course, and a simulated run of the new track shows exactly how difficult that track could prove to be for drivers.
In a video filmed for the CXC Simulations YouTube channel, former IndyCar driver and current commentator Townsend Bell ran a simulated lap of the new track in a Haas F1 car. As he demonstrates, the track is an odd mix of long, high-speed stretches and multiple separate complexes of tight, difficult corners near grandstands.
That reflects similar tracks in Miami, Saudi Arabia, and Baku. All three tracks have proven to be a challenge for drivers, particularly in practice and qualifying as they attempt to extract the most possible speed out of a car on a single lap. Las Vegas promises to be similar, and the stakes are even higher with the Vegas race scheduled so late in the season. Even if the driver’s and constructor’s championships are locked up well in advance, many mid-field drivers and teams will head into the race understanding that they need a specific result to win or lose season-long battles that are coming down to the wire. That could create some significant chaos.
Formula 1’s first Las Vegas Grand Prix since the 1980s is set for mid-November. Given how difficult the track looks in some stretches, drivers should expect an interesting race.
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