late Thursday night, racing cars will hit the streets of Las Vegas for the first workout of the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix. The race marks Formula 1’s return to Vegas for the first time since the 1980sso as we prepare for lights out in Sin City, we thought it was time to round up everything you need to know about the race.
What is the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix?
Simply put, it’s a car race on the streets of Las Vegas. The grand prix is the latest race on the Formula 1 calendar, as this year is his first year. It’s been a long time coming, with Formula 1 only confirming its plans for a third American race in May 2022.
When the lights go out on Saturday night, the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix will mark the sport’s third event in Nevada, following the Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix that ran in 1981 and 1982. While the ’80s race was held in a casino parking lot, this year’s outing is a much bigger affair.
In the build-up to the race, Formula 1 began to build a purpose built paddock complex in Las Vegas, which will remain in situ all year round and can be used as a Formula 1 museum when the race is not running. The sport also closed off streets to make the circuit and installed all manner of bridges and walkways to keep access to the city’s casinos open during the chaos. It really is quite the circus.
Where is the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix?
Las Vegas, of course. It will specifically continue the Las Vegas Strip Circuit, which was built around Las Vegas Boulevard. The 3.85-mile circuit consists of 17 corners and several long, fast straights that lead to heavy braking zones. Over the course of 50 laps, drivers will race past Vegas landmarks such as the Venetian, Caesars Palace and Paris resorts, as well as the Bellagio fountains.
Thanks to its layout, the track is going to be fast, very fast. Many managers have compare it to Monza thanks to its long straights that are taken at full tilt. While we won’t find out the actual time it takes to complete a lap of the track until Thursday, footage shared by Formula 1 earlier this year featured drivers lapping the 3.85-mile track in less than one minute and 50 seconds, hitting speeds in excess of 205 mph. In contrast, the fastest speed recorded at an F1 race so far this year was at Monza, where the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton was clocked at more than 220 mph.
When is the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix?
The weekend! are you ready The action in Las Vegas will kick off on Thursday night, with Formula 1 cars driving first on the track for free practice one at 8:30pm in Las Vegas. For anyone on the east coast, it’s 11.30pm – so it’s going to be a weekend of late nights if you want to stay up and watch it all unfold live.
After that, the next big moment will be qualification. If you want to tune in to see who can take the first pole position in Las Vegas, that everything takes place on Friday night at midnight on the dot. Again, this means a late night for east coasters who will have to get up at 3am to be sure to see Max Verstappen take pole again.
Finally, the race itself will take place on Saturday evening under the lights. The formation lap begins at 10pm in Las Vegas (1am Sunday on the East Coast), before the cars thunder off the line for 50 laps of madness. I, for one, can’t wait.
How can you watch the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix?
As with every Formula 1 race in 2023, you have a few options when it comes to watching this weekend’s Vegas Grand Prix. The easiest way to keep up with the action is with an F1TV Pro account, which gives you access to live streams of all the action on the track and a selection of comments.
If you prefer your sports coverage through other means, then ESPN is your only bet. Practice one will air on ESPN2 on Thursday at 8:25 p.m., with practice two following at 11:55 p.m. on ESPN. The third practice session continues at 8:25 PM on ESPNU, while qualifying gets underway on ESPN at 11:55 PM. The racing action kicks off at 9.55pm on Sunday 19 November on ESPN and ESPN+.
What’s at stake?
While Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team already concluded the drivers’ and constructors’ championships, there are still some battles worth watching over the penultimate race of the Formula 1 season.
The big one, of course, will be the race to be the first Las Vegas Grand Prix winner since Michele Alboreto in 1982. Obviously, Max Verstappen is again the favorite for this after he has dominated at basically every track so far this year. However, moves made by McLaren in recent weeks have helped both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri on the podium at recent races, so can they offer a significant challenge to the dominant Red Bulls? And you would be a fool to count out Lewis Hamilton or the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainzthe latter of which is the only non-Red Bull racer to win a grand prix this year.
Then there is the battle for second place in both the constructors’ and drivers’ standings. Mercedes racer Hamilton and The Red Bull driver Sergio Perez compete for second place, with just 32 points currently separating them. It’s also tight behind them, like Fernando Alonso, Norris and Sainz are separated by just six points! In the teams’ standings, Mercedes and Ferrari are both within reach of second place, and Aston Martin and McLaren are locked in a tight battle for fourth place.
Owen Bellwood is an automotive journalist for Jalopnik, which like Deadspin is owned by G/O Media.