Formula 1: The controversy behind the Las Vegas Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Formula 1 (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Formula 1 (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) /

The newest Formula 1 circuit is set to debut in under two weeks in Las Vegas, but controversy surrounds the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix has been the spectacle on the 2023 Formula 1 calendar that everyone is waiting for. Preparations for the inaugural event began earlier this year, but the controversy that has come with it has made fans wonder whether or not it really is worth it to hold a race in “Sin City”.

The Strip is what everyone wants to see in Las Vegas, and the fact that the track goes right through it has led to some difficulties for daily city goers.

Developing the roads to be sufficient for the Las Vegas Grand Prix has led to several construction-related delays and unannounced road closures. As a result, things have become very difficult to residents who use the roadways to travel through the area and to individuals who work on The Strip.

One resident stated the following.

"“I work on the strip, and it has been very aggravating trying to get to work the last half year. Random, unannounced road closures have been horrible and just show how little they care about workers.”"

The University of Nevada in Las Vegas has even considered the idea of virtual learning for a few weeks due to the massive traveling delays that students and faculty have faced.

Some have even said that Formula 1 is doing the same thing that the pandemic did to the world.

Meanwhile, the setup of the race itself does not seem very friendly toward the American viewers, despite the race being held in Nevada.

A 10:00 p.m. local start time on Saturday, November 18 means a 1:00 a.m. start time on Sunday, November 19 for those on the east coast, which has several fans enraged; by comparison, it’s the same start time as for the Japanese Grand Prix.

On the flip side, the start time of the race does seem to favor everyone on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The sky-high ticket prices have also hindered the opportunity for locals to catch a glimpse of a spectacle coming to their own city. The cheapest ticket is priced at around $500, leaving even more residents upset over the fact that they cannot attend a race in their hometown.

While the expected revenue from the Las Vegas Grand Prix is approximately $1.3 billion, whether or not it was all worth it will be determined once the inaugural race weekend has concluded.

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Assessing the successfulness of the logistics will play a part in the future of the race, despite the fact that its contract has already been extended from 2025 to 2032. There are now less than two weeks until the overall aftermath can be determined.