Formula 1 will add a third US race to the calendar in 2023 with the addition of the new Las Vegas Grand Prix, and I for one am hella excited. The last time F1 raced in Las Vegas was in 1982 at a track entirely contained within the Caesars Palace grounds, but the new street course looks much more exciting.
The 3.8-mile-long circuit has three main straights, 14 corners and one chicane section, with top speeds reaching over 212 mph over the course of the race's 50 laps. While the track layout itself doesn't seem that incredible, it's the setting that will be over-the-top.
The 1.24-mile main straight is literally down the Vegas strip, past hotels and landmarks like the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Paris hotel's fake Eiffel Tower and the Venetian, and the race will take place at night to take full advantage of Vegas' iconic lights and fountains. It all gives me shades of Cruis'n Exotica, the absurd arcade racing game from 1999 where drivers can do ridiculous stunts in silly cars through the streets of Vegas.
The FIA says 31 different layouts of the track were considered, and the final course will have teams using their low-drag aero setups from tracks like Monza and Spa. Vegas' bumpy roads will be resurfaced ahead of the race, and the cars will only go down one side of the strip -- but that still provides nearly 50 feet of width for overtaking.
Despite most F1 races taking place on Sunday, the Las Vegas Grand Prix will happen on a Saturday night in November, potentially Thanksgiving weekend, with qualifying happening that Friday. That positioning will make it easier to watch both in the US and overseas, and the city is sure to see a massive influx of tourists over the race weekend. It will join Austin and Miami to be the third F1 race in the US, which has seen a boom in popularity for the series in the last couple years, in no small part thanks to Netflix's Drive to Survive documentary show.