£1.3billion Las Vegas GP faces major issues including driver safety concerns

Formula One’s Las Vegas Grand Prix is set to be held on Sunday, November 19 in the United States. But before the event, it is facing flak over extremely high ticket prices, driver safety concerns and other issues.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, of Spain, drives during the second practice session for the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix auto race, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP)

According to a report by Daily Mail, the extravaganza is set to generate £1-1.3billion and the world’s biggest celebrities are expected to attend the event. The report highlights that nearly 105,000 fans are set to witness the grand race on Sunday. Some of the fans have paid $185,000 for a ticket. Notably, critics are slamming the organisers for “ruining the beauty of Vegas and pricing out people”.

The race will be of 50 laps with Las Vegas’ landmarks like Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay forming the backdrop. Racing driver Max Verstappen has described the event as “99 per cent show and one per cent sporting event”.

The report also highlights how the success of the race is very important for the organisers. Notably, it’s the first Grand Prix in Las Vegas since Caesars Palace Grand Prix was held in 1981 and 1982. Organisers have spent nearly £196 million to buy a plot of land for the event. £327 million has been spent to build a permanent pit building and to prepare the 3.85 mile track.

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First practice race was cancelled

Before the main event, the first practice race on Thursday, had to be cancelled after just eight minutes due to a loose drain cover on the track. F1 described the incident as the failure of a “water-valve cover”.

“It is just unacceptable. It cost us a fortune. I think it’s just unacceptable for F1 today,” said Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur as quoted by The Guardian.

“Following inspection, it was the concrete frame around a manhole cover that has failed. We now need to check all of the other manhole covers which will take some time. We will be discussing with the local circuit engineering team about the length of time it will take to resolve and will update with any resultant changes to the schedule,” explained an FIA spokesperson.

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