Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023: what is the track layout? Manhole covers, circuit and weather explained

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The new Las Vegas Grand Prix will take in the famous strip and Paris Las Vegas icons in it's 6.2km circuit.

The hotly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix is nearly upon us but it has not arrived without its complications. 

The first day of the grand weekend descended into chaos as practice was cancelled following problems with the new street track. The second session then started two and a half hours late in front of near empty stands after the fan areas closed. 

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F1 made the decision to cancel the first practice session and postpone the second, citing “logistical considerations for our fans and staff.” 

Red Bull's Serio Perez races round the new Las Vegas Formula 1 track in practiceRed Bull's Serio Perez races round the new Las Vegas Formula 1 track in practice
Red Bull's Serio Perez races round the new Las Vegas Formula 1 track in practice | AFP via Getty Images

The first session was called off just nine minutes into the allotted time after Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari hit a loose manhole cover which badly damaged his car. Esteban Ocon’s Alpine was also damaged in a similar vein to Sainz after he hit the same manhole on his return to the pits following the red flag. 

When is the Las Vegas Grand Prix?

The main event takes place on Sunday 19 November with a UK start time of 6am (10pm local time on Saturday). 

What is the track layout? 

The start line, as well as the run from turn one to turn four, has been developed into a permanent race area which includes a pit building, garages and the team areas. The track will take in Koval Lane and turns around MSG Sphere - Vegas’ new immersive music and entertainment arena. 

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From there, the drivers will go past the Venetian Resort before turning into the star of the show, the famous Las Vegas Strip - home to The Mirage, Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and the Bellagio. 

The track is expected to be cold yet quick with Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola saying the “Temperature is the first parameter we evaluate, and at the end of the November the desert at night will be quite cold. We are expecting a high speed straight - very high speed.” 

It is a 6.2km, 17-turn street circuit with the speeds expected to match those of Monza.  

What are the manhole cover issues?

Sainz will now receive a ten place grid penalty because the new battery needed to replace the one damaged in his crash is outside his permitted allocation. Ferrari pleaded for mitigation due to the unusual circumstances but the stewards were unmoved. 

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The Italian horses’ chief Fred Vasseur said the damage to the car would “cost a fortune.”

It is not the first time a drain cover has caused F1-related issues. At the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the first practice was cancelled when Russell’s Williams hit a cover and was badly damaged. 

What is the weather forecast? 

The race will be taking place at night but there is no rain forecast in Las Vegas with day time temperatures reaching highs of 19C on Sunday and night time temperatures as low as 11C

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