The first-ever Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix is set to take place this Saturday, November 18, but organizers are facing a chilly challenge. According to Ross Brawn, a planner for the event, the team didn’t initially consider how cold Las Vegas can get at night during this time of year.
Brawn, who served as F1’s managing director from 2017 to 2022, admitted that the cold temperatures could pose a challenge for getting the cars to work efficiently. The decision to schedule the race for 10 p.m. PST was made to accommodate the European audience and take advantage of Las Vegas’ evening excitement. However, with temperatures known to drop below freezing in the fall, concerns are rising about the impact on the race.
The current forecast for race time calls for 52 degrees Fahrenheit, but a few degrees drop due to unexpected rain could spell trouble. The layout of the Vegas track, with three major straights and 14 corners, is not known for warming tires properly. This could result in issues with tire grip and overall race performance in cool weather.
Jalopnik.com, a racing news and opinion website, explained that F1 cars are not designed for optimal race performance in cool weather. The tires, brakes, and power units will take longer to reach their ideal operating temperature on a cool track, potentially leading to skids, slides, and lock-ups.
Despite the challenges, Brawn expressed confidence that the tire companies have worked to ensure the tires can cope with the cool temperatures. He acknowledged that the event is facing new challenges but believes it will still be a spectacular race.
The inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix has generated significant excitement, but the unexpected cold temperatures at night could pose a unique test for both the drivers and the organizers.