Formula 1 Didn't Realize Las Vegas Would Be Cold In November

Image: LVGP / Red Bull
Image: LVGP / Red Bull

Desert climates are fascinating. While you might be roasting under a beating sun during the daytime, cool temperatures sweep in at night to bring you the opposite form of misery. According to Ross Brawn, who left Formula One Management ahead of the 2022 season but who had been around for initial talks regarding the Las Vegas Grand Prix, no one in Formula 1 seemed to realize that it might actually get pretty cold in Nevada at night in November, PlanetF1 reports.

I’m just going to drop the full Brawn quote here, because I need y’all to believe that these words left his mouth:

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“We’re definitely facing some new challenges which we’ve never had before, but I think it’ll be spectacular.”

The Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place on the iconic Strip, and there are plenty of factors that are going to make this race a challenge for teams. First, the event starts at 10 p.m. local time in order to allow a European audience to tune in (even though that means a 1 a.m. start for America’s East Coast). That means temperatures will have plummeted drastically from the already-cool November highs — and it’ll therefore be hard for the teams to warm their tires on a track that is composed of three long straights, which aren’t known for their ample tire warming ability.

Formula 1 cars aren’t designed for optimal race pace in cool weather. Tires, brakes, and even the power units will take longer to reach the ideal operating window on a cool track, which means we’re likely going to see a fair amount of skids, slides, and lock-ups. All because no one seemed to realize how a late autumn desert climate works.

Ironically, I chatted to a handful of folks affiliated with Formula 1 during the United States Grand Prix weekend who were concerned that the Las Vegas race would be plagued with the extreme heat that left so many drivers worn out and ill in Qatar. I was almost too stunned to clarify that that is not how desert temperatures work.

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