Formula 1

F1 Drivers Voice Concerns Over Las Vegas GP’s Slippery Surface, Long for Jeddah Circuit’s High Grip Levels

In a recent turn of events, Formula 1 drivers have expressed dissatisfaction with the slippery track of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, contrasting it with the superior grip found at Jeddah’s Street Circuit. This highlights a growing concern over track conditions impacting race quality.

Key Takeaways:

  • Drivers’ Disappointment with Las Vegas GP Surface: Formula 1 drivers have voiced their concerns over the slippery nature of the Las Vegas GP track. They wish for the high levels of grip similar to the Jeddah Street Circuit in Saudi Arabia.
  • The Challenge of Street Circuits: The lack of support series races in Las Vegas, coupled with the street section’s public use during the day, contributes to the track’s dusty and challenging condition.
  • Varied Responses from the F1 Community: While drivers like Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell call for improvements similar to Jeddah’s surface, Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola explains the practical challenges in implementing such changes in Las Vegas.

Several Formula 1 drivers have recently lamented the slippery conditions of the Las Vegas Grand Prix track, expressing a strong preference for grip levels akin to those found at the Jeddah Street Circuit in Saudi Arabia. This dissatisfaction highlights the importance of track conditions in Formula 1 racing and the constant pursuit of optimal grip levels for enhanced racing quality.

AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo pointed out the potential for improvements in track preparation. He remarked, “I think the surface is one thing us drivers haven’t loved. It’s hard when obviously it’s a street track, it’s public roads. Obviously, they’ve got machines that they could use to kind of like blast the circuit, get the stone out a little more I guess, and make it a little more abrasive. On our wish list, maybe we wish it was like a little bit more of a Saudi level of grip, because that’s really good for kind of a street circuit. So that’s probably the only thing that I haven’t loved is that kind of slippery feeling. Otherwise, it’s been alright.”

Mercedes driver George Russell also chimed in, praising the Jeddah track for offering multiple racing lines, which significantly improves the racing experience. “Jeddah is the gold standard of track surfaces. We’ve been saying this for many years now. We’ve been to a number of tracks where they’ve resurfaced it, or new tracks, and the grip has been really poor, and there’s only been one racing line. Whereas in Jeddah the whole width of a circuit is very good grip. They’ve done an exceptional job there. That’s what we want. I think it was in Miami in the first year at least you couldn’t go off the racing line, there was no grip, and that doesn’t offer any racing. I think it’s been a challenge here in Vegas, because we’ve been the only cars on track too.”

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso also highlighted the role of track surface in racing quality. “I don’t know why they don’t copy the asphalt that we know works, like in Saudi or some other circuits. Because that could maybe change the fun that we have behind the wheel and maybe the overtaking tomorrow. We will not be able to go offline and this kind of thing. So it’s sad.”

However, Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola provided a different perspective on the feasibility of replicating Jeddah’s track conditions in Las Vegas. “That’s a consideration that I share with them. In Jeddah they made this very aggressive treatment with high pressure water. It’s a sort of artificial ageing. The treatment they did in Jeddah is ageing the tarmac by two, three, four years. If you remove the bitumen on top, then it’s a completely different situation. That cannot happen here because part of the track is open to road circulation and obviously, you have to respect some parameters that are for the normal streets, and some other parts are not open, but obviously you have unique consistency across the circuit. So if you do this treatment, then it’s difficult after the race. You should put a new tarmac again, but I don’t think is in the plan of the promoter.”

In conclusion, while the desire for improved grip levels at the Las Vegas GP is clear among drivers, the practical challenges of achieving this highlight the complex nature of Formula 1 track preparation and maintenance. The ongoing dialogue between drivers, team personnel, and race organizers is crucial in the pursuit of optimal racing conditions that balance safety, excitement, and the unique characteristics of each circuit.

Related Articles

Back to top button