Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone Criticizes Las Vegas Grand Prix: Ecclestone’s Disdain for F1’s Latest Venue

Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has openly critiqued the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix, claiming it diverges from the essence of Formula 1. His comments come just before the inaugural race on the Las Vegas Strip, a significant event for the sport under Liberty Media’s stewardship.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ecclestone’s Skepticism: Bernie Ecclestone, who played a pivotal role in globalizing Formula 1, expressed his disinterest in the Las Vegas GP. He questioned its relevance to the sport, saying, “It has nothing to do with Formula 1.”
  • Historical Context and Current Developments: While F1 has a history in Las Vegas, with races at Caesars Palace in the early ’80s, this year’s event marks a new chapter under Liberty Media. The 2024 F1 schedule, including a record 24 races, highlights the sport’s growing global footprint.
  • Chilly Conditions for a Pivotal Race: The Las Vegas GP, a night race, is expected to be one of the coldest in F1 history with temperatures potentially dropping to five degrees Celsius. The race is scheduled for 10 pm local time on Saturday, following a midnight qualifying session.

The Formula 1 world is abuzz with the impending Las Vegas Grand Prix, an event described as a milestone in the sport’s history. However, not everyone shares the enthusiasm. Bernie Ecclestone, the former F1 supremo who stepped down in 2017 following Liberty Media’s acquisition, has voiced his disapproval in no uncertain terms. Ecclestone’s tenure saw Formula 1’s expansion into new markets, a legacy he proudly acknowledges. Yet, his comments to NOS reveal a clear disconnect with the current direction of F1 racing.

Ecclestone’s skepticism is notable given his historical role in bringing Formula 1 to Las Vegas in the early ’80s. However, those events, hosted by the Caesars Palace Hotel, did not resonate well, with the circuit being labeled one of the worst in F1 history. This contrast highlights the evolving nature of Formula 1 and its venues over the years.

Despite Ecclestone’s criticisms, the Las Vegas GP is poised to be a landmark event. The race’s scheduling as a night event, a rarity in F1, adds to its uniqueness. Moreover, the frigid conditions expected during the race are set to challenge drivers and teams alike, adding an unpredictable element to the competition.

Ecclestone’s legacy in transforming Formula 1 into a global sport is undeniable. His efforts to introduce the sport to new markets in Asia and the Middle East around the turn of the century have been instrumental in shaping the current landscape of F1 racing. The addition of the Las Vegas GP to the calendar, albeit controversial, is a testament to the sport’s continued evolution and expansion under new management.

The Las Vegas GP, therefore, stands not just as another race in the calendar, but as a symbol of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of Formula 1. Whether it will live up to the expectations or fall short, as Ecclestone predicts, remains to be seen. One thing is certain: the world will be watching as Formula 1 races through the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.

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