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November 16, 2023

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What to watch out for in the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Plenty of unknowns surround the race, with the sport coming a long way since the 1981 and 1982 trips for two instances of the Ceasars Palace GP. Thankfully, the poorly designed track in the Ceasars Palace car park is a bad memory, and the organisers are instead taking over central Las Vegas for three days of action. Whether that leads to better racing isn't yet known, but the spectacle of F1 cars hurtling past world-famous casinos will be an incredible sight.

The track length makes it the second-longest circuit on the calendar, only beaten by Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps. Yet the jury's out whether the right angles and DRS straights can generate the same affinity for fans as the annual run around the Ardennes Forest. Nonetheless, we should see high speeds and intense battling as the also-ran teams on the grid try to outdo each other behind Red Bull's championship-dominating season.

2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix Pirelli Tyre Choices

A step into the unknown isn't only a problem for the 20 drivers. Pirelli has no real-life data to draw from and will hope the three softest compounds, the C3, C4, and C5, deliver the best performance on this all-new circuit. The long straights will lead to tyre warm-up challenges for drivers, so getting the best preparation during Friday's qualifying will be crucial.

Additional characteristics unique to this weekend further complicate matters. The chilly night temperatures have led to Pirelli imposing higher minimum tyre pressures than usual to combat the cool air. Furthermore, a lack of support races and the public having access to the streets during the day will impact the grip and track evolution over the weekend. The tyres have a lot of work to do.

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Who could win the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix?

Verstappen's incredible season means that he's the obvious name to beat. The new circuit may prove a stumbling block to the world champion, but there's been very little that 2023 has thrown at the Dutchman he hasn't conquered. Nonetheless, Vegas's right-angled corners and street circuit setting is akin to Baku and Singapore — two of the three races that Verstappen lost.

If Red Bull Racing isn't the class of the field in Vegas, there's no shortage of hopefuls looking to fill the void. Mercedes face the prospect of their first winless season since 2011, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell only having two rounds left to course correct. Ferrari is the only non-Red Bull team to have taken a Grand Prix victory this season, with McLaren boasting a single Sprint win, too. Could Carlos Sainz or Oscar Piatri cross the line in first once again?

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2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix U.K. Start Time

Set some early alarms if you're hoping to enjoy live Vegas action, as the Grand Prix's late-night Saturday start in Nevada means it's lights out at 6 AM on Sunday.

2023 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Sky Sports Live Coverage

Qualifying – On air: 7 AM, Session start: 8 AM Saturday 18th November

Race – On air: 4:30 AM, Session start: 6 AM Sunday 19th November

2023 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Channel 4 Coverage

Qualifying – Highlights: 11:40 AM Saturday 18th November

Race – Highlights: 12:30 PM Sunday 19th November

2023 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Weather Forecast

Qualifying/Race – F1 might be racing in the desert, but the drivers face a chilly challenge with forecast session temperatures around 8-13C.

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