As Melbourne and Sydney scramble to sure up their F1 futures, the Vegas announcement has both cities on even higher alert. Let’s unpack what it means for F1 in Australia.
Formula 1 is going to Vegas, baby.
Picture Max Verstappen’s Red Bull roaring down the glitter strip, past Caesars Palace and the MGM Grand.
And the F1’s announcement has certainly caught the attention of Australia, nervously awaiting whether the organisation’s plans down under will continue.
Melbourne’s contract runs until 2025, while Sydney’s heavy-hitters are making noise for a harbour city stop off.
The good news is, though, a third event in the US won’t necessarily come at the expense of the island continent.
‘It’s just the beginning,’ according to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, with room to grow from 22 races (currently) all the way to 30.
A Sydney Grand Prix could be similar to the Monaco-style street race along the Sydney Harbour, with cars roaring along The Rocks and the Barangaroo precinct to capitalise on the city’s iconic beauty. The only thing ruled out is action on the Harbour Bridge, noting safety concerns.
F1 racing in Melbourne is clearly not one of NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s priorities.
“Why would the Formula One want to stay in Melbourne when you can come here?”
The Australian Grand Prix has become a key fixture on the racing calendar, with Melbourne hosting the event since 1996, however organisers were forced to cancel both the 2020 and 2021 races due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The popularity of the Netflix show Formula 1: Drive To Survive, now in its fourth season, has seen it become ‘can’t miss entertainment’ and F1 has capitalised and built a whole new audience base.
The rise and the demand for more Formula 1 action has resulted in a new race being added to the 2022 calendar in Miami, plus a race in Vegas next year which will see the US host three events annually.
“I think there is potential to go to 24 (races). I would say there is potential to go to 30! In terms of the interest we see all around the world,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told Martin Brundle via Sky Sports F1.
“Not only Las Vegas, there are other cities that are interested in Formula 1.”
The Las Vegas Grand Prix will feature a 14-corner, 6.12-kilometre street circuit and will include approximately 2 kilometres of the strip in front of Caesars Palace, the Bellagio Fountain and the Eiffel Tower as one of three long straights.
The race is scheduled for November 25 (US time) and in positive news for Aussie Formula 1 fans, will take place in the late afternoon time-slot on the Australian east coast.