The Las Vegas GP is set to feature on the F1 calendar until 2032, with a 10-year contract agreement now heavily anticipated.
Less than twelve months after the inaugural Vegas GP was announced (which will not occur until November), Formula 1 is close to ensuring its place on the calendar for another decade.
Speculation has circulated for several weeks surrounding this topic. At this stage, an official announcement is seen as a formality.
As reported by Joe Pompliano, Clark County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend their contract with F1.
The addition of Las Vegas to the calendar demonstrates America’s growing interest in Motorsport, a critical market that F1 has been working to capture for several years.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s 2021 Championship battle, Drive to Survive, and F1’s rapid growth on social media have all contributed to this significant shift.
A total of three American circuits will feature on the 2023 schedule, further emphasising the efforts to capitalize on this growing popularity.
However, these developments have been unanimously welcomed in the F1 world.
The Las Vegas circuit layout itself has been criticised by fans, with some arguing that it will not facilitate close racing between drivers.
Additionally, F1’s eagerness to secure multi-year deals with American venues can be compared with a very different attitude towards more established circuits on the calendar. Specifically, Belgium’s Spa circuit.
The Belgian GP is easily one of the most iconic circuits in Motorsport, yet the Spa circuit only received a one-year extension last year.
Such a short-term deal has validated the concerns about Spa’s long-term prospects in the sport, with Formula 1 prioritising the addition of other circuits on the calendar.
Whilst Las Vegas has no direct impact on the Belgian GP, the evolution of F1 and its priorities when adding new circuits has become an area of contention.
The sport’s willingness to add Las Vegas and Miami to the calendar (and generally capitalise on the US market) has been contrasted with a reluctance to allow Andretti, an American team, to join the grid.
In any case, there is no dismissing Formula 1’s growth, so the extension of Las Vegas’ contract is consistent with this upward trajectory.