The Las Vegas Grand Prix is set to commence this week, marking Formula One’s highly anticipated return to Sin City. The race is scheduled for Saturday night, and teams are taking precautionary measures to keep drivers and employees focused.
Mercedes team owner Toto Wolff has explicitly stated that he is forbidding team members from indulging in the notorious nightlife of Las Vegas, including the city’s multitude of casinos. This ban raises the question of whether it extends to the team’s drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Another team, Aston Martin, may also follow suit with a casino ban while in Las Vegas.
Aston Martin boss Mike Krack acknowledges the distractions in Las Vegas and emphasizes the importance of maintaining focus when it matters.
While preparations for the Las Vegas Grand Prix have generated significant excitement, there have been some concerns leading up to the event. The race is scheduled for 10 p.m. PST to accommodate the series’ European fans, raising worries about the adaptability of the Pirelli-manufactured tires used by F1 teams to the anticipated cold temperature of 52 degrees on race night.
Additionally, with the 2023 F1 title already clinched by Max Verstappen several weeks ago, there are speculations that fans may be unwilling to spend on hotel rooms to watch a race that holds no significance to the championship.
Despite the concerns, analysts reveal that higher-end properties on the Strip are fully booked and have extended record amounts of casino credit to incoming patrons in anticipation of the race.
The decision by Mercedes to impose a casino ban on team members in Las Vegas is an interesting move, considering that other cities on the F1 schedule also have gaming venues. However, it remains unclear if similar bans are enforced when the series visits other jurisdictions with prominent casino resorts.
The debate over the casino ban in Las Vegas raises questions about the potential impact of distractions on F1 teams and whether similar measures are seen in other sports leagues that frequent the city.