LAS VEGAS (AFP) – With burning rubber under the neon lights, Formula One (F1) gave its fans a taste of what they can expect from next year’s Las Vegas Grand Prix while the sport’s leaders promised that this time the sport is in the city for the long run.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate George Russell took to ‘The Strip’ in their race cars along with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, revving their engines and performing donuts to the delight of thousands of fans and night revellers.
F1 Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali talked of the sport making a “statement” return to the city during a ceremonial painting of the start line and Hamilton delivered the words that fit the hyped-up mood.
“This race is going to be for sure, the greatest race of all time,” Hamilton told the crowd after his barricade bashing trip up and down The Strip, the stretch of street that has become synonymous with Vegas night life.
Whether the night race, scheduled as the penultimate Grand Prix of the 2023 season, lives up to that ambitious billing remains to be seen, but it is clear that the return to Nevada is going to be very different to the two underwhelming races held in the 1980s.
But F1 enjoyed a huge growth in interest in the United States (US) in the past few years, boosted by the Netflix series Drive to Survive.
This season F1 added Miami to the circuit. With the established US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, and Vegas will complete a trio of races in the country.