Las Vegas gets a first taste of Formula 1

Wolff: Vegas is going to be a big challenge

Las Vegas gets a first taste of Formula 1

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix will be a big challenge, not only for his team but to all the other Formula 1 outfits.

Mercedes head to the upcoming F1 event in Las Vegas off the back of a bruising weekend in Sao Paulo, where the team struggled with their W14, and were fifth fastest behind Red Bull, McLaren, Aston Martin, and Ferrari.

It was yet another wakeup call for the eight-time F1 Constructors’ Champions, who enjoyed a couple of competitive weekends in Austin and Mexico City, only to stumble once again in Brazil.

“Brazil was probably our most difficult weekend of the season,” Wolff reflected. “After promising performances in the US and Mexico, we didn’t perform at our best in Brazil.

“We have been hard at work to identify the wrong turn we took with the set-up; we have done that. We understand our mistakes and can explain our performance loss to the field.

“That’s important as we look to secure P2 in the Constructors’ Championship,” he added, as Mercedes are 20 points ahead of the chasing Ferrari.

Vegas will pose various challenges

As for Las Vegas this weekend, Wolff revealed his team’s preparations for a new track that will pose a unique challenge with night running in low temperatures.

He said: “In parallel, we have been preparing for the challenge of racing at a venue that is a complete unknown. We have prepared the best we can, using the limited information we have, and there are some unique characteristics we can anticipate.

“The schedule is offset compared to other races,” Wolff pointed out. “We’ll be running at night, where ambient and track temperatures will likely be in the single digits. Plus, the track layout itself is unusual with many slow corners but long straights. It’s going to be a big challenge for us all and we’re looking forward to taking it on.”

A big show aside from racing

F1 has been ramping up the expectations of a great show in Las Vegas with VIP packages costing millions of dollars, as Mercedes have their own “Vegas Club” package that costs $15,500.

Wolff touched on Mercedes’ hosting package in Vegas, highlighting that his team will also be quite busy with off track action.

“It will also be an immense effort off-track,” he revealed. “We have an impressive guest hosting programme including our own three-storey Vegas Club next to Turn 4.

“Media interest will be through the roof and seeing the cars race down the Las Vegas Strip will be one of the most exciting moments of the season.

“The eyes of the sporting world will be on F1, and we look forward to putting on a spectacular show. It is going to be something truly special to witness,” the Austrian concluded.