Christian Horner has predicted the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix will feel more like a Super Bowl than a Formula 1 race – at least off the track – with Max Verstappen attempting to become the first driver to win three times in a country in a single season.
Few events have garnered more attention before the track has even been built as the Las Vegas GP, the crowning glory of more than a decade of F1 working to finally establish itself as a mainstay in the USA.
But it’s not long now before all of that talk stops and fans get to see F1 cars flying down the Strip in anger for the first time, with the Red Bull team principal predicting that action will be matched off-track.
“I’m pretty confident that the event in Vegas will be not only a spectacle off track,” Horner told the media. “And certainly from what we’re seeing in the build-up to the race is more akin to a Super Bowl than a grand prix. I think it’s going to be a hell of a show for Formula 1.
“But the most important thing is that it delivers as a sporting spectacle and it produces a great race. The amount of interest that there is in the US is phenomenal, and I think that we really need to deliver to make sure that we capitalise on that interest.”
Horner: Montreal and Baku comparisons for Vegas
Horner also said the Las Vegas Strip Circuit reminds him of both Baku and Montreal, with F1 headed to Sin City for a race that poses more questions than answers to teams including Red Bull.
Qualifying is set to finish at 1am on Saturday local time, with the race starting on the same day 21 hours later, and temperatures are expected to plummet once night falls on the Nevada desert.
There are just six heavy braking zones around a high-speed track that races past a host of iconic casinos including the Bellagio, Paris and Caesars Palace – whose car park hosted two exhaustingly dull grand prix in the 1980s.
“I think Vegas could promise to be quite an exciting race,” Horner told the media. “I actually think the Vegas race, the format and the layout of the circuit is, shall we say is more of a simplistic one. So is Montreal and that also produces great races.
“I watched the drivers on the simulator running around it the other day and it’s got a straight as long as Azerbaijan into a sharp left-hander, so I think there is going to be plenty of action there.
“It’s going to be cooler in the evening, tyre temperature could be crucial and that’s going to move things around as well.”