Formula 1, in collaboration with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), has taken a proactive step to enhance driver safety and concentration during the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend. In an unprecedented move, they have imposed a ban on three specific colors – red, yellow, and blue – from being displayed on the massive MSG Sphere, which stands as the world’s largest LED screen.
The MSG Sphere, situated in close proximity to the racing circuit, has garnered attention for its remarkable size and brightness. However, with its presence looming large in the drivers’ line of sight, it has raised concerns about potential distractions during the high-speed races. To mitigate this, Formula 1 and the FIA have mandated that during the Grand Prix weekend, the Sphere will refrain from exhibiting any content that could be misconstrued or cause distraction, with particular emphasis on avoiding the use of the red, yellow, and blue colors.
These three colors, while vibrant and attention-grabbing, are also crucial for drivers as they navigate the track. Light panels at the side of the circuit often use these colors to convey critical information to racers. Red typically signals a hazard or a warning, yellow indicates caution, and blue may be used to communicate driver-specific information.
To facilitate this safety measure, Formula 1 has secured rental rights for the Sphere and the surrounding land for the duration of the Grand Prix weekend. This agreement prompted a temporary pause in the residency of the iconic Irish rock band U2 at the venue, with their performances resuming after December 1.
The decision to include the MSG Sphere in the event was driven by a desire to enhance the spectacle of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. However, as responsible stewards of driver safety, concerns about potential distractions were raised. In response, the Sphere’s owners, in conjunction with the FIA and Formula 1, have collaboratively devised a solution to ensure that the dazzling LED screen does not compromise the focus and concentration of the F1 drivers as they thunder through the streets of Las Vegas.
Joel Fisher, who holds the position of Executive Vice President of Marquee Events and Operations at MSG Entertainment, played a pivotal role in orchestrating the agreement between the MSG Sphere and the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Ensuring that every conceivable measure has been implemented to avert any complications during the event, he conveyed to Autosport:
“It’s all safe.
“Obviously, we’re going to comply with the FIA’s requirements, and make sure.
“They’ve come here at night and tested different colours and different things on there. And we know what we shouldn’t show. So we have a show runner to do all that.”
When questioned about the content to be showcased on the Exosphere (the external screen of the Sphere), his response was as follows:
“There’s going to be some live footage, there’s helmets, there’s driver cards, there’s ads, there’s all those types of things, and some other surprises.”
Regarding the Sphere, Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media, disclosed last week that Formula 1 has ambitious plans for its future utilization. He further elaborated:
“We have a long-term relationship with the Sphere, and I think we will have more programming in place.
“Partly because we didn’t know if the Sphere would be done, and partly we were hustling to get ourselves done, that combination made it hard to programme for this year. But I think in future years, we’ll have a lot more going on.”