As the Formula 1 circus descends upon Las Vegas, teams are gearing up not only for the unique challenges of the new street track but also for the distractions of the vibrant city. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has made a candid admission about his team’s approach to the Las Vegas allure: keeping staff away from the casinos during their downtime.
The Las Vegas GP, featuring a high speed city layout that even takes in the iconic ‘Strip’, is generating excitement and controversy. However, the focus isn’t just on the event’s novelty, as weather forecasts predict extremely cold temperatures for the late-night sessions. Sky Italia pundit Davide Valsecchi, speaking to Autosprint, emphasized the importance of tyre warming, seeing it as a potential game-changer. “Whoever warms up the tyres first will be strong,” he observed, even speculating on Lando Norris’s chances for a win: “I feel that Lando’s first victory will come here or in Abu Dhabi.”
Pirelli boss Mario Isola, however, anticipates a fair share of grumbling from drivers. As quoted by Ekstra Bladet newspaper, Isola said, “We cannot make a special tyre for Las Vegas, so it is what it is. I imagine there will be very little grip. They will complain! But it’s fine. We can handle that too.”
Amidst these racing concerns, Toto Wolff’s stance on team discipline in the face of Vegas temptations is clear and somewhat humorous. “I’ve never been to Vegas,” Wolff said, “But we’re going to keep everybody out of the casinos. I don’t play, so I’m going to make sure that nobody plays,” he added with a smile.
Aston Martin seems to share a similar approach. Team boss Mike Krack acknowledged the multitude of distractions that Vegas offers. “There will be a lot of distractions,” Krack admitted, adding: “It is important to focus when it is the right moment.”