Formula 1 set for grueling Vegas-Abu Dhabi double-header in 2023


Next year's inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix will precede the final round of the 2023 F1 campaign in Abu Dhabi and form a grueling double-header with Yas Marina according to a document leaked online.

A letter addressed by Liberty Dice - a new entity formed by Liberty Media to promote the Las Vegas event - to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and leaked on social media indicates that Sin City's first F1 event is set to take place on Saturday, November 18 or just a week before Grand Prix racing's season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The race has been given a 10pm local start time which equates to 6am and 7am respectively for viewers in the UK and in Europe.

F1 teams are unlikely to thrilled with the planned scheduling of the Las Vegas event as it will entail a 19-hour flight and a massive 12-hour time difference, not to mention a tiring packing-up for crews on site in Vegas that will go on through the night given the race's late evening start.

The letter states that a five-year deal between F1 and the city of Las Vegas has been agreed, therefore keeping the race potentially as the penultimate round on the calendar until November 2027.

Las Vegas' 6.1-kilometre, 14-turn street circuit will include a portion of its famous strip while The Formula One Group has purchased a plot of land for $240 million on which it will build its permanent pit and paddock facilities.

In last week's conference call with analysts following the publication of Formula 1's second quarter results, Liberty Media CEO Greg Mafei said that Vegas' pit complex will be used for other activities all year round and host "ongoing activations and events".

"The main paddock building, which is estimated to be 900 feet long, the length of three football fields will be exciting, and we’re actively working with potential commercial partners to expand our opportunities there," Maffei said.

"We are building out the F1 team in Vegas across sales, marketing, race operations, and more. We are leveraging local expertise and talent as well, including the LVCVA and our partners at Live Nation."

Unlike most F1 rounds, F1 and Liberty Media are self-promoting the race in Las Vegas in partnership with local stakeholders and venue operator Live Nation.

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