While there’s work to be done before Formula 1 returns again to Las Vegas to avoid the hiccups that plagued the inaugural Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix, there’s no denying that “for 50 laps — on a circuit illuminated by the neon lights of Las Vegas Boulevard with the iconic Strip serving as the backdrop — the Las Vegas Grand Prix delivered one of the best races of the F1 season.” Or as the Associated Press put it – “by the time Justin Bieber waved the checkered flag, the $500 million Sin City gamble had hit the jackpot – an electrifying event that turned out to be both one of the best races of the season and a glitzy international spectacle that can only be pulled off in Las Vegas.”
Three-time reigning world champion Dutch Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing scored a hard-fought victory despite a first-lap penalty and a mid-race collision leaving him with damage. A not-so-subtle critic of the race and Las Vegas, Verstappen could be heard literally singing “Viva Las Vegas” as he won for the 18th time this season.
Monaco’s Formula One driver Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari came in second, followed by Mexico’s Sergio Pérez of Red Bull Racing who placed third.
With the Bellagio fountains as the spectacular backdrop, drivers and race fans were treated to a New Year’s Eve-style fireworks show over the Strip followed by a “symphonic interplay of light and music” by global superstar DJ and producer Martin Garrix.
Even Las Vegas locals accustomed to running into celebs at the grocery store were impressed by the gathering of the beautiful people. Patrick Dempsey, Kylie Minogue, Brad Pitt, ASAP Rocky, Rihanna, Simone Ashley, and Shaquille O’Neal were among those spotted enjoying the high-energy race.
In a statement after the race, Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix officials called the event “an unprecedented racing experience that created a new standard of entertainment and racing excellence.” The officials also reported a “capacity crowd” of 315,000 fans and said the event brought “an estimated economic impact of $1.2 billion.”
According to Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the Formula 1′s impact will make November 2023 the best November in the city’s history. Hill also stated that the race will drive an estimated record economic and fiscal impact of over $100 million in tax revenue to benefit the Las Vegas community.
Next year is going to be another banner year for sports in Las Vegas. After having experienced the city’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix, we’re already anticipating its return in 2024, scheduled for November 21, 22, and 23 – but first, we’ll turn our attention to Allegiant Stadium and the SUPER BOWL!
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