LAS VEGAS – Start your engines! Las Vegas is preparing for its first Formula One race since the 1980s.
Last time, teams had to cope with hot weather conditions. However, this time, they need to prepare for the chilly air as hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to attend. The temperatures are expected to play a significant role in Saturday evening's Grand Prix, which every team must factor into their preparations.
"It's probably going to be one of the cooler races we've seen all season," Outkick writer Mattew Reigle told FOX Weather. "And while the cooler track needs more grip for the drivers, it also means cooler tires, and that means less grip."
Reigle predicts that the first couple of corners may be intense, which could pose a challenge for the drivers at the front.
"It could get real dicey for the guys up front," he said.
Mercedes' Formula One race car driver Lewis Hamilton believes this is one of the coldest races he's competed in.
"Probably the coldest race that we have done in a long, long time," he said. "Normally, we are in hotter climates. This is chilly."
Hamilton's teammate, George Russel, said the track will be about 15 degrees colder, on average, than everywhere else they have raced.
"So that's going to be reacting totally different," he said. "The engines are going to be running much, much colder."
The 1978 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada, holds the record for the coldest Formula One race in history. The race was held in early October, and the air temperature dropped to 41 degrees.
Sparks fly in Vegas
On Thursday evening, during a practice session, a manhole cover caused damage to two cars, resulting in the session being halted. Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur expressed frustration at what he deemed an "unacceptable" situation.
The incident occurred just nine minutes into the event's first practice session, where the cars of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and Alpine's Esteban Ocon were damaged.
The faulty manhole can be seen in footage captured by Van Townsend as Sainz's car drove over it. A second practice session commenced on Friday.
Nighttime satellite imagery shows stunning F1 track
In total, 23 different circuit configurations were mapped out across Las Vegas before a final decision was made in early 2022 on the 3.8-mile, 17-turn route that will be raced on this weekend, event officials said.
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The owners of Formula One, Liberty Media, said they want to make a long-term investment in Las Vegas and bought a piece of land with the start/finish line on the same spot where there used to be a nightclub. This has allowed them to build a modern pit building that is three football fields long.
Maxar Technologies captured stunning nighttime satellite imagery of the Las Vegas Strip, showcasing the city, the Sphere and the race course.
As fast as a tornado
Honda's Bonneville 400 project was an exercise driven by marketing to test if a Formula One car could be modified to reach a speed near 250 mph.
The land speed record for Formula One was set by Alan van der Merwe, the team's development driver, driving a modified Honda car with plate number 1. The record was ratified by the FIA. During testing in the Mojave Desert, the team managed to reach a speed of 256.8 mph, according to Guinness World Records.
Van der Merwe later became the Medical Car Driver in F1 in 2009.