Buy tickets for Las Vegas while you can.
CXC Simulations, Haas, and former IndyCar driver, Townsend Bell, have teamed up to provide the first real simulated lap of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. According to CXC, it uses "space-age materials and cutting-edge design to create extremely realistic racing simulation products and state-of-the-art control systems."
The lap provides some interesting insights into what the track planners had in mind, and it's basically a high-speed jaunt of Las Vegas' tourist highlights. Fans have a lot to look forward to over the next decade. According to F1, the average speeds are expected to match Monza, also known as the "Temple of Speed." At Monza, the cars are at full throttle for 80% of the lap, and there are several chicanes where the drivers have to stand on the brakes without locking the front wheels.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix appears to have even more heavy braking zones, which makes us slightly uncomfortable.
This is not the first time F1 has tried the high-speed street circuit. The Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia has a higher average top speed than Silverstone, and in 2021, the first running of the track turned into an absolute shambles. We hope the same doesn't happen at the Sin City Grand Prix.
One thing that does stand out is the final straight down the Las Vegas Strip, leading back to the starting grid. The car easily runs through all seven gears, even getting close to hitting the limiter in seventh. At the end of what may be the longest straight on the F1 calendar, the car hits roughly 186 mph.
That's still far from what a modern F1 car can do in a straight line, so the Haas probably isn't set up correctly for the race - it is just a simulation, after all. The in-race record for a top speed belongs to Juan Pablo Montoya, who reached just over 231 mph at Monza in 2005. Williams later claimed that Valtteri Bottas hit 235 mph in 2016 at Monza, but no outside sources could verify the claim.
It all depends on the setups the teams choose to run. As Bell points out, there are several high-speed segments and heavy braking zones with slower corners and fast sweeping corners. Running a low-drag setup is less clear-cut than you might imagine, but we can see Red Bull claiming a new record for the fastest top speed achieved in the hybrid era.
The F1 cars will likely not be the fastest vehicles in attendance, however. Even though the video shows plenty of rafters, the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be taking over from Miami as the Nouveau Riche Grand Prix, or the Poor Man's Monaco as we like to call it. The streets will be lined with high-end machines like the Bugatti Chiron, so if you want to stand out in a crowd, be sure to take a rented Toyota Corolla to the event.
We've seen thousands of comments complaining about the food prices at the Miami GP after already-exorbitant tickets, but did you know there's a one-million-dollar package for the Sin City Grand Prix?
We'll have to wait and see whether the hype pays off.
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