The FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN SILVER LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX is quickly approaching. And as the excitement culminates and travel plans are made, we’re here to give you the insider scoop on what it took to create the Las Vegas Formula 1® circuit, and other activations taking place during race week. The Las Vegas Grand Prix is a street circuit taking place on Las Vegas Boulevard, along the infamous Las Vegas Strip passing iconic resorts like Bellagio and Paris Las Vegas, which is a massive undertaking, as you could imagine!
And we’re not just talking about any racetrack, either. The surface must be suitable for the world’s fastest drivers. Formula 1® hasn’t held an event in Las Vegas in more than 40 years, and back then, things looked significantly different. The races in 1981 and 1982 were held in a spacious parking lot at Caesars Palace. The “Caesars Palace car park,” as it was known, was wide enough to accommodate overtaking, had plenty of room for run-offs and allowed speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
But that was then. In 2023, constructing a viable course in advance of the Nov. 16-18 Las Vegas Grand Prix™ has truly been a monumental feat. Not only does the course itself need to be created, but also all the viewing and hospitality areas. With the return of F1 to Las Vegas and the incredible course, this is one of the most anticipated races of the season!
Planners immediately began to step on the gas, and schedules were accelerated to ensure this marvel of a transformation could occur. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what Las Vegas has undertaken for F1:
Streets have been repaved to ensure smooth surfaces with minimal ripples for drivers.
Pit lanes and the paddock area were positioned in an unoccupied parking lot.
The Formula 1 Pit Building – the centerpiece for the race – will provide optimal viewing of the start and finish line for the race. This $500 million, 300,000-square-foot facility will double as a massive viewing platform for race fans, with a rooftop area that includes a 28,000-square-foot video screen to see every moment of the action. The Paddock Club will have VIP suites and can accommodate up to 8,000 guests.
Additional grandstands and hospitality structures have been strategically positioned throughout the circuit, with various vantage points of the race.
The 3.8-mile course runs counterclockwise, featuring 17 corners, three straightaways and two drag reduction systems zones. Drivers will navigate a hairpin turn first with a slight bend to the left and make one sharp right turn before reaching the nearly 1.2-mile straightaway. Drivers will complete 50 laps on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit™ to crown the winner.
Each ticket for the race is associated with a unique zone and/or hospitality area. There are 10 zones total, with four of them offering grandstands, and each zone is in close proximity to various resorts. A few notable zones to be aware of include:
East Harmon Zone by Virgin Hotels Las Vegas – Contains PG1 Main Grandstand, which includes views of the start/finish line.
Pit Building Zone – The Paddock Club, team garages and Wynn Grid Club are all located in this zone, offering some of the best views of the track/race.
T-Mobile Zone at Sphere – Located around the new Sphere, is the central hub for entertainment as this is where headliners will be performing all weekend long, including J Balvin, Major Lazer, Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers, Kylie Minogue, Keith Urban, Journey, and Siobhan Bell, plus performances by popular Las Vegas acts, The Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil.
Fans will be treated to a dazzling and unprecedented experience watching the race amid the neon backdrop of the Las Vegas Strip. Practice and qualifying races will take place on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16-17, with gates opening at 6 p.m. and racing beginning at 8:30 p.m. each night. On race day, Saturday, Nov. 18, gates will open at 6 p.m. and the FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN SILVER LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX will begin at 10 p.m (PST). For more details about day and week of events, to manage your tickets and to get the latest F1 updates, download the official F1 Las Vegas app.
The race is just the beginning. You’ll be treated to a true Las Vegas experience that nowhere else on the planet can deliver.
While you’re here, see if you can spot famous athletes like David Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal at the special Sports Illustrated event, Club SI. Or see top music producers like DJ Pee Wee spinning a special vinyl set trackside at the Heineken House. Plus, the Strip will be lined up with superstar celebrity chefs dishing up exclusive, intimate dining experience like Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Giada De Laurentiis, Michael Mina, José Andrés, and others! Rumor has it those aren’t the only celebrities you might mix and mingle with during race weekend, as F1 fans from around the globe come to witness history.
And don’t forget about the scene where you want to be seen – the unparalleled dayclubs and nightclubs, where the energy is always high, and the celebration is nonstop. Go behind the velvet ropes and beyond bottle service at Drai’s Nightclub atop of The Cromwell Las Vegas. Choose from several lavish experience packages, including the ability to attend VISTA Las Vegas, hosted by Mark Wahlberg with a guest appearance by former F1 driver, David Coulthard, as they put on an epic viewing experience, in tandem with the McLaren F1 racing team.
Check out more ideas on how to navigate your F1 Las Vegas experience, or get more details about the event itself. Then, get ready to shift your plans into high gear for F1 excitement in Las Vegas, where the thrills don’t end at the finish line. From world-class dining options featuring celebrity chefs to entertainment and live events like no place else on the planet, you’re always on the right track to an unforgettable experience in Las Vegas.