Former Formula 1 chief financial officer Bernie Ecclestone believes that F1 is now in the right place in Las Vegas with a street circuit on the famous Strip, an idea that he first wanted to implement in the 1980s but which was never accepted.
This season, Formula 1 makes its grand return to Las Vegas after a 41-year absence, the last race in Sin City having taken place in 1982 when the circuit used the Caesars Palace car park.
Ecclestone happy to see F1 finally on the Las Vegas Strip
At the time, Bernie Ecclestone wanted the circuit to be built on the Strip, but the local authorities and hoteliers did not accept the Briton’s request and so Formula 1 never returned to Nevada.
“The only problem we had [in the 1980s] was that we couldn’t race on the Strip, and that’s what I wanted to do,” Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters.
“I wanted to make sure that when someone turned on their television, they knew they were in Las Vegas, not in the desert. They had made a promise to me saying ‘yes’, we can do this.”
— F1 Las Vegas (@F1LasVegas) November 13, 2023
Ecclestone: Las Vegas didn’t keep promise to race on the Strip
“The first year we ran in this area that was the Caesars Palace car park, or at least part of it, but it was understood that the following year we could do what I had in mind.”
“But in the end it never happened because the people in Las Vegas, all the hotels, didn’t see that it was going to be good for them. That’s why we never went back to Las Vegas (after 1982).”
Austin and Miami opposite Las Vegas…
“I hope it will be a real success, but I’m not sure it will be in the long term,” added Ecclestone about the 2023 edition of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, while F1 has confirmed that it intends to put Las Vegas on the calendar for several years.
“I think the last thing on their minds is the race itself. Most likely there will be as big a crowd as possible this time. But it has to hold, especially with some of the prices…”
“Why would people pay so much money to be in Las Vegas, when they can go to Austin where everything is much better and easier [to get to].”
“There’s a fight [between the different circuits in the US]. I hope they win [Las Vegas], but I wouldn’t want to put my money there.”
MORE F1 NEWS: Red Bull rumours heats up as Norris disrespects Perez
Sergio Perez is coming under increasing scrutiny from within the Formula One community, with McLaren’s Lando Norris the latest to question the Mexican’s position at Red Bull in what many might consider a ‘disrespectful’ comment.
Norris suggested that several other drivers, including himself, could pose a greater…READ MORE ON THIS STORY