Updated November 14, 2023 - 10:53 am
Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix race week is finally here, and the 3.8-mile circuit is ready for 20 of the world’s best drivers to hit the Strip.
The majority of barriers, fencing, lighting, advertisements and spectator areas are set up along portions of Las Vegas Boulevard, Koval Lane and Sands and Harmon avenues. Driving the stretch Monday morning, Las Vegas Boulevard between Spring Mountain Road and Harmon had the feeling of being on a racetrack and not one of the most famous streets in the world.
All motorists can basically drive the entire track, outside of the private portions at the F1 pit building site and the stretch around Sphere Vegas. Crews are located at various points along the circuit putting on the final touches before F1 drivers hit the track Thursday night for practice rounds.
The stretch of road is probably the smoothest in the Las Vegas Valley, with the circuit seeing two rounds of paving operations over the course of several months to get the track up to race code.
The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix begins Thursday with practice rounds, followed by practice rounds and qualifying Friday, with the race scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Saturday. The 50-lap race is expected to see cars have an average speed of 147 mph, with drivers expected to hit a top speed of 212 mph. The projected lap time is 1 minute and 33 seconds, according to F1.
F1 officials expect about 100,000 fans to populate the grandstand and suite areas stationed around the course each night. Festivities kick off Wednesday with the race’s opening ceremony, with several music acts, Strip performers and all 20 F1 drivers expected to take part.
“Opening ceremonies will be rivaling a Super Bowl halftime show in terms of the level of entertainment, with its A-List talent,” Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm said. “We’ll kick off what will be a long-term run of Formula One here in Las Vegas.”