Formula 1 Headed Back to Las Vegas?
Las Vegas hasn’t seen a grand prix since 1982, when drivers hit the gas in the parking lot of the Caesar’s Palace casino. But the iconic race may be headed back to Sin City as early as 2018. Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone confirmed he is in talks with potential promoters for a Vegas street race. And, according to a BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) report, a Beijing-based conglomerate has said it will help bankroll the event.
"They are very close to Las Vegas and have got businesses in media, sport, technology and entertainment, so they are a massive conglomerate,” said P2M Motorsports founder and CEO Farid Shidfar, who is developing the event, said of the as-yet-unnamed Chinese firm. "They came to us out of the blue late last year, because of the initiatives they are involved with in the state of Nevada, and we have been in due diligence since then. The benefits they will derive are very strategic so that's why they are very excited about it."
For his part, Ecclestone has long wanted to hold two F1 races in the United States. One is held regularly in Austin, TX. A recent attempted foray into New Jersey failed and, while talk of a F1 return to Long Beach, CA has been bandied about, nothing yet has materialized.
In its efforts to bring the race back to Vegas, F1 track designer Tilke has proposed a circuit layout.
"We have successfully designed a racetrack which is partly on the Las Vegas Strip and does not impact any resort," says Tilke Managing Partner Peter Wahl. "The track definitely has its own character and shall provide drivers high-speed challenges with different sharp corners. Best part, the track is designed to host large numbers of spectators, and I can't wait to see the first car fire up. I believe the Vegas race will become one of the highlights of the F1 calendar."
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