F1 Las Vegas GP 2023: Everything you need to know
The track through the streets of Sin City is 6.1 kilometres long; only Spa and Baku are longer. But with seventeen mostly flowing corners, it is expected to be a very fast lap where drivers are expected to take around 1:30 minutes (in dry conditions) over a lap of Las Vegas. With a circuit with large sections completed at full throttle, the car with the most powerful power unit is the favourite on paper. No one will likely argue against Red Bull having the best power unit.
Favourites with an asterix?
At Monza and in Jeddah, Red Bull Racing was the dominant outfit. Normally, the team, especially with Max Verstappen, would do the same in Las Vegas. However, with the Singapore GP not lost on anybody yet, it could get tricky for the Austrian outfit as the RB19 has struggled for consistency on street circuits throughout the season.
Another obstacle this coming weekend is undoubtedly going to be the cold. Initial reports are that rain could fall, but either way, it certainly won’t be warm in the evening hours. With a temperature of seven to ten degrees Celsius, it will be a hell of a job for the drivers to quickly get the tyres in the right window. While Max is known to adapt under any circumstance, the Las Vegas GP could be very tricky for his Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez, who has struggled with firing up his tyres throughout this season.
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What will happen to Mercedes in Las Vegas?
One of the main stories of the previous Grand Prix in Brazil was the demise of Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell endured one of the worst weekends in the team’s history, in which even Alpine was too fast for the German outfit.
Besides, another disappointing result could cause Hamilton to drop out of the battle for second place in the drivers’ championship. Sergio Perez can secure Red Bull Racing a 1-2 in the driver’s standings in Las Vegas: never before has Red Bull finished first and second in the drivers’ title race.
Ferrari to challenge the Bulls?
The Las Vegas track should be ideal for the Italian team, which seems to excel well on tracks with long straights and 90-degree corners. Moreover, Ferrari, unlike other frontrunners, heats up their tyres pretty quickly, which will only aid them in the cold conditions that are expected for the weekend. Although Max Verstappen seems to have the race pace over everyone on the grid, it won’t surprise me if the two Ferrari boys step on the podium alongside the Dutchman.
Aston Martin and Alpine to fall further behind?
Aston Martin had a superb Brazilian Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso taking the podium and Lance Stroll having a strong race. Given the conditions and characteristics of this Las Vegas street circuit, the British team can really struggle to keep pace with the front-runners; however, a points finish is definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
Alpine, on the other hand, is one team that might not be excited to race on the streets of Las Vegas. Given the lack of pace of the Renault engine compared to the rest of the grid, it won’t surprise me if they end up among the three slowest teams on the grid.
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