Saturday 10pm start for Las Vegas GP is “perfect time”, says F1

F1 announced on Tuesday night that it would be returning to Las Vegas in 2023 with a new street event that will see the cars race along the iconic Strip next November.

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It will mark a return to Las Vegas for F1, which last staged the infamous Caesars Palace Grand Prix in 1984 on a temporary track in the car park of the casino.

The race will take place on a Saturday night, making it the first Saturday Grand Prix since South Africa in 1985 and breaking with the traditional Sunday format. The 10pm PT start is planned in a bid to capture the late-night US audience and those waking up in the morning in Europe.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the decision to stage the race on a Saturday night, Domenicali hailed the flexibility F1 had shown, saying it was the “perfect time and perfect slot for this event”.

“Formula 1 cannot be Static,” Domenicali said.

“To have a race on Saturday at 3pm, that would be a total mistake. That is the reason why we are flexible, we are showing that the right moment to have the best show in this context.

“I don’t see any problem with that. And if you think actually in terms of timing in Europe, the race time we have on Saturday is 10pm, Saturday night is perfect because that audience will be connected.

“By the way, we could have done even earlier or later, everyone would have been connected that night with Las Vegas, no doubt.”

Las Vegas track action

Photo by: Liberty Media

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei added that they thought the timing of the Las Vegas race would “find real happiness with all those teenagers that now have to get up on Saturday morning and Sunday morning and complain the races are on too early in Europe”.

“Now they’ll be able to stay up late on Saturday night and enjoy it,” Maffei said.

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Las Vegas will become the third race in the United States, joining the existing events in Austin and Miami that have long-term contracts in place.

An initial three-year deal has been Struck for F1 in Las Vegas, but Domenical said they hoped the race would “stay for longer”.

The 10pm start will be the latest for F1, surpassing the current 8pm time slot for the night races in Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

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