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las vegas grand prix mclaren f1

Maffei: I want to apologise to all Las Vegas residents

las vegas grand prix mclaren f1

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has apologised “to all the Las Vegas residents” for the month-long disruptions caused in their city ahead of the Grand Prix weekend in the bustling casino city, with Formula 1 engines set to fire up on Thursday for practice.

There’ve been widespread reports of local residents, annoyed with the delays and congestion caused by closures to allow F1 cars to roar past the famous and iconic Las Vegas landmarks on 6.2 km of the main streets used for the layout.

But that has come at the price for a city that never sleeps and depends so much on the tourist footfall that is now severely curtailed as F1 mounts yet another pop-up track, this time for the purpose of Round 21, the penultimate one, of the 2023 F1 World Championship season.

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From Las Vegas, the Guardian reports: “Work to get the track ready for racing has been ongoing for nine months, with roads being resurfaced and the construction of the pit and paddock areas causing disruption.

“The process has been far from painless. Traffic on the Strip – Las Vegas Boulevard – has been reduced to a slow crawl, while pedestrians are being funnelled along narrowed and curtailed walkways because of the limitations partly imposed by the manufacture of the track.

“When the cars take to the circuit, access to many areas, particularly hotels on the Strip alongside the circuit, will be limited,” the report adds.

Maffei: We hope this is a great economic benefit in Las Vegas

Tourists find the Las Vegas Strip remade for its turn hosting Formula One | Small businesses in Las Vegas are being hurt the most by F1 being in town

Aware of the negative effects of staging the race, Maffei said of the disruptions: “I want to apologise to all Las Vegas residents. We appreciate that they have their forbearance and their willingness to tolerate us. We’re going to bring something like $1.7bn of revenue to the area.

“So it’s not just for the benefit of fans who want to view. We hope this is a great economic benefit in Las Vegas. We hope this is the most difficult year with all the construction that went on and things will be easier in the future,” Maffei concluded, suggesting the end will justify the means.

Staging a city race is always a major challenge, and F1 tackled the craziest city in the world turning Vegas into a race track! If anything, it is ultra-ballsy and all concerned should be commended. Now, navigating the obstacles that pop up will be their next challenge as Liberty Media have invested heavily to have this third race in America happen.

However, there are concerns that F1 did not do the due diligence to stage a Grand Prix in such an audacious location and to include the fabled Strip, and being in America (not Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia for instance) people are being vocal about it all, with media allowing them to have their say.

Small businesses in Vegas are being hurt the most by F1 being in town

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 05: Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO, Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, Steven Sisolak, Governor of Nevada, Jim Gibson, Clark County Commission Chair and delegates paint the start line during the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 launch party on November 05, 2022 on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Greg Doherty - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Casino.org contributor Jacob Orth reports: “It’s the small businesses around the area … and the individual employees who don’t have the same level of financial resources that these major companies do … they’re the ones getting hurt the most. They’re the ones who have been most negatively impacted economically.”

“Vegas is no stranger to big events, but a big event that causes this much disruption in this many people’s lives for this long a period of time — and has hurt them economically and financially this much — is rare, and this is not something people are going to want to go through again anytime soon,” added Orth.

For the Grand Prix to happen this weekend significant road closures began on 14 November, with the normally traffic-heavy Koval Lane shutting down earlier on 11 November.

Liberty Media have reportedly invested $500-million into the project with big support from elected city officials who believe F1 to be good for their voters. A three-year contract is in place, but F1 has agreed to support this race for at least ten years. Las Vegas officials are on record wanting a “lifetime partnership” with the sport.

Just over a month since the heart of Las Vegas started shutting down to prep for the GP, the track is ready, and F1 is ready. But does Sin City want it every year?