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Take a Speedy Lap Around the New Las Vegas F1 Track

With one of the longest straights on the F1 calendar, the Las Vegas track is plenty of glitz and glamour but doesn’t look too technically challenging.

The 2023 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix is still a long ways away, not due until the weekend of November 16. But it is one of the most anticipated races of the year, at least on F1’s side. With big money being spent on its new vision for the sport, will the Las Vegas track be a good one? Well, let’s watch Townsend Bell do a lap of the circuit, virtually.

Of course, the Vegas track is going to be a street circuit. Because of this, the final layout of the circuit has been a point of serious contention due to the major economics of the casinos located directly on the Strip, on which the race is taking place. Allowing folks to enter and exit casinos while there’s a grand prix underway is extremely important. But those who have ever been to Vegas will know that the terrain is as flat and featureless as they come.

This virtual lap reflects this, though there are some tricks being pulled to make the circuit more difficult for drivers. Bell did his lap at legendary simulator builder CXC Simulations, but it’s unclear if this is the final layout of the curbing and walls we’ll see in November. If it is, the track is going to be like a slightly wider Singapore, with a bit of Miami circuit fudging involved. Some of the exits are narrowed by rumble strips, the straightaway on the Strip is incredibly long (long enough that Bell drank espresso and checked his emails at full speed), and there’s a parking lot section with more canned curves and a slow, snaking chicane that has become customary for new circuit constructions.

The scenery is pretty astounding, though. Most sections of the circuit will have the iconic Vegas skyline as a backdrop and I think the photos that will come from it will be amazing. But based on this video, I won’t hold my breath for stellar racing. I hope this track proves me wrong.

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