The Las Vegas Grand Prix: A Spectacle of the 2023 Formula 1 Season
The Las Vegas Grand Prix is the main attraction of this 2023 Formula 1 season. The titles are certainly up for grabs, but the prospect of an event contested on a new, non-permanent circuit, and in a setting like that of Sin City, is enough to arouse some interest.
A Unique Saturday Evening Race in the Nevada Desert
This weekend in the Nevada desert, the Grand Prix will take place on Saturday evening, at 10:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning in France). An anomaly in current Formula 1 which has become accustomed to Grands Prix on Sundays for the sake of visibility, including in countries where weekends take place on Friday and Saturday such as in Bahrain.
A Return to Classic Format: Saturday Races
A Formula 1 race in its classic format (i.e. with the exception of the Sprint races introduced in 2021) contested on a Saturday has already existed. However, we have to go back to the 1985 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami to find traces of the last one, won then by Nigel Mansell (Williams).
A Historic Milestone: 1,100th Grand Prix
The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix will be the 1,100th in the history of the Formula 1 world championship, but only the 74th in which the main race will take place on a day other than Sunday. Not all of them took place on a Saturday, notably the Indianapolis 500. When the event was a stage of the F1 championship from 1950 to 1960, its race day was scheduled on Memorial Day, which was held on May 30 until 1970.
A Saturday Tradition: Las Vegas Grand Prix
Thus, 58 GPs have already taken place on a Saturday in the past. Including the very first in the history of the world championship, at Silverstone, on May 13, 1950. As for Las Vegas, it will be the third time in as many appearances on the discipline’s calendar that its race will take place on Saturday after 1981 and 1982 (years when the Grand Prix was contested in the Caesars Palace parking lot) and this will still be the case in 2024. Two other Grands Prix will take place on Saturday during the next season with Bahrain, on Saturday March 2, and the Saudi Arabia, Saturday March 9, due to the start of the Ramadan period set for Sunday March 10, 2024.