What happened the last time F1 was in Las Vegas?

The upcoming F1 circuit in Las Vegas (Image credits: Twitter/@WTF1)
The upcoming F1 circuit in Las Vegas (Image credits: Twitter/@WTF1)

New F1 fans are now very well aware that the sport is going to 'The Strip' in 2023 for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. This is, however, not the first time the sport will be in Las Vegas, having raced in a parking lot next to the infamous Caesars Palace Hotel in the previous instance.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix should be a non-championship event because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

Sin City got its first taste of the sport in 1981 which was a title decider between three drivers – Carlos Reutemann, Nelson Piquet, and Jacques Laffite. Piquet eventually won the 1981 championship after Reutemann, who was the favorite to win, finished in P8 despite having started in pole position. The next year, 2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg's father, Keke Rosberg, won the championship against rival John Watson, who fought hard but ultimately lost to the Finnish driver.

The track was a rather dull, 2.2-mile circuit cramped in the 75-acre parking lot of the legendary hotel and casino. The Grand Prix took place only in 1981 and 1982 and was removed from the calendar the following year due to a lack of interest and viewership from American fans.

Things, however, are expected to be different in 2023, when the sport returns to Vegas for the first time since 1982. American fans are now much more well-versed with the primarily European sport thanks to social media and Netflix's Drive to Survive, promising an epic weekend.

2022 F1: a summary so far

The latest edition of the sport came with an unbelievable amount of hype, with new regulation changes being enforced by the FIA to 'level the playing field'. As it stands, Ferrari and Red Bull are the teams to beat, with Charles Leclerc having won the season opener in Bahrain and Max Verstappen having bounced back the following weekend in Jeddah. The two drivers are the current championship protagonists as Mercedes' legendary Lewis Hamilton is being plagued by the same porpoising issues the team faced in pre-season testing.

Meanwhile, Haas F1 are making a dramatic comeback in 2022, with Kevin Magnussen having finished P5 and P9 in the first two races of the year. The American team now considers themselves a strong midfield competitor, challenging the likes of Alpine, AlphaTauri, and even Mercedes. Further down the grid, McLaren and Aston Martin are failing to find form in the new year, with their drivers often failing to score any points.

With the sport returning for the Australian Grand Prix next weekend, there is certainly a long way to go in 2022 and anyone can win the jackpot at the end of the year.

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Edited by Anurag C
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