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Why F1 hopes what happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas



It is unique in that it is promoted by Liberty Media and F1 rather than a local third party. The city that owns the land and the casino are partners, but the commercial rights holders take a huge risk, winning or losing on the outcome of the weekend.

F1’s role as promoter is a fascinating development for the series, and one that is being watched with interest by established race organizers elsewhere at a time when potential new hosts wait to join the party.

Many existing races have announced extensions to guarantee them a long-term spot on the calendar. It looks a bit like a game of grabbing chairs, and no one wants to stand still for the foreseeable future when the music stops and the 24 or so venues are locked.

In this case, the prospect of F1 staging its own races and potentially favoring them over established ones gives other promoters a lot to think about.

F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali said: “Las Vegas is obviously an important opportunity for us to maximize on one hand the Something that should be done.” “On the other hand, take advantage of this experience.

“I would say the beauty of today is that we have a large group of promoters. Around the world, everyone is actually competing not only in terms of (say) financial contribution, but they’re also getting better and better at preparing Offer fans new experiences and invest in new facilities.

“That’s good. So, our effect as a promoter has really made everybody better.”

So far, the message from Liberty Media has been that Las Vegas is a one-off. However, Domenicali suggested that if the experiment is successful, it would be logical to try a similar recipe elsewhere. But he insists that it cannot be at the expense of existing successful events.

“Of course, we’re there to make the best business possible,” he said. “So if there are other opportunities, we certainly won’t be shy.

“But on the other hand, I think we’re lucky that the quality of promoters is really, really high all over the world right now.”

Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 CEO

Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 CEO

Photography: Carl Bingham/ motorsport pictures

These promoters have a good relationship with Domenicali and his organization. They meet regularly in London to discuss the bigger picture and the common challenges they face.

This kind of open dialogue has not been the case in the past. The last thing Bernie Ecclestone wants is for all of his race organizers to meet and possibly swap ideas on their personal deals. But now it’s another world.

Domenicali is adamant that all racing can learn valuable lessons from F1’s own racing. In other words, what happens in Las Vegas doesn’t stay there.

“We need to be humble, we know what to do,” the Italian said. “But I also think we’ve come up with ideas that other promoters have a lot of experience with.

“I think our opportunity to create the perfect experience for the fans will be an input that other promoters can use in a way that respects the differentiation of each grand prix. Because that’s key for us: every grand prix is ​​different ,unique.

“I think the briefing we’ll have together on the Monday after the game will be very important because from then on we’ll be sending a lot of messages to our friends and they’ll be watching us.

“Because the first to see this Grand Prix differently will be the promoters who have worked with us for many years.

“Of course it’s also been a big challenge for us to show what we think is right in a positive way.

“So, it’s a great place where we can learn and improve the ecosystem in the right way. So I’m very optimistic about that. And I think, ultimately, next year, everybody will benefit from this experience. We’ll be in Las Vegas Vegas.”

Liberty Media boss Greg Maffei believes being involved as a promoter will give F1 more credibility as it tries to get other races to try new things.

“I think there’s obviously going to be a learning curve,” Maffei said. “We came to Las Vegas with a whole bunch of goals. First, to be a promoter, partly because we had an idea of ​​what a great promoter should do.

“We might think that if we’re going to have an opinion on that, for some of our sponsor partners, we might actually want to be sponsors so we can talk as we go.”

F1 commercial boss Brendan Snow suggested it was a two-way street, with his organization taking lessons from other promoters while encouraging all racing to learn from the Las Vegas experience.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing in Las Vegas

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing in Las Vegas

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool

“We have a phrase that’s sometimes called stealing with pride,” Snow said. “I mean, we want to share best practices with all of our promoters, things that we know work that we can scale, that we can bring to other partners so they can up their game.

“We have a group of people within the company who are focused on establishing these best practices and sharing them with our other promoters so we can up the game across the board and discuss what works and what doesn’t work brilliantly.

“There are other sports industries that are doing this well. We’ll build on that as well. So we want to make sure we take what works and help them implement it in other markets.”

Liberty legal executive Renee Wilm, who was seconded to the role of CEO of Vegas Events, made an interesting observation.

She said her organization is now fully immersed in staging an event and has a better understanding of the issues F1’s other racing partners have to deal with.

“Even in the past 12 months, we’ve found that we have more empathy for the promoters because now we really understand what they’re going through day in and day out,” Wilm said. “Dealing with permitting and track design. Selling hospitality, building hospitality and inflating the environment.

“And I think we’ve been able to work with Brandon’s team to really reach out to the promoters and further strengthen those relationships and help negotiate and say, ‘Okay, this is what we’re seeing as a promoter. This is my Ideas we can reach a better deal with you.

“We’ve been able to really leverage that to the benefit of everyone who renews this year.”

Inevitably, the races of greatest interest for what’s happening in Las Vegas are Austin and Miami, the current events in the United States.

Wilm insisted there was no rivalry between the three venues, stressing that she was working closely with her counterparts Miami Grand Prix president Tyler Epp and COTA CEO Bobby Epstein. Hopefully the three events will end up stronger by working together.

Before the Miami Update

Before the Miami Update

Photography: Charles Bradley

“A lot of journalists try to create divisions that don’t exist,” Wilm said. “But the reality is Taylor and Bobby and I talked a lot.

“We’re talking about shared resources. We’re talking about how we can leverage each other’s activations in terms of what works and what doesn’t.

“And we do believe rising waters lift all boats, and that’s our intent. It’s not about motivating or cannibalizing anyone else in building something here in Vegas.”

Domenicali agrees that there’s no need for Austin and Miami to feel threatened by Las Vegas — all three have space, and they all have their strengths.

“Obviously every race, not only in America, has a different personality, a different cultural approach, a different quality, a different fan segment,” he said.

“By the way, sometimes we forget that just a few years ago we were thinking, ‘Do we really need to stay in the US? Is this really the market we should be in?’

“Thanks to our stubbornness here. Last year we had two races and this year we added one more. So in the blink of an eye, we got there.

“I don’t see any form of cannibalism, everyone is different, everything is different. I don’t see any problem.”

The theme that other promoters have learned from the way Vegas has done things is important. Domenicali is keen to stress that no race, no matter how closely tied it is to the sport’s history, is guaranteed a spot on the calendar.

In other words, even a team like Monaco has to keep up with changing times and continue to improve what they offer their audience.

“I always say to our promoters that when history only looks back, there are some bad things,” he said. “It’s beautiful when history is a good basis for looking to a different future.

“So that’s why for the so-called historic grand prix, we’re really focused on getting the perspective of the future.

“I mean, arrogance and believing you have a guaranteed future because you’ve been in the game for the last hundred years, honestly, that’s not enough. There’s also a sign of respect. It’s great for tradition Not enough of these places.

“And I think in this moment, everyone understands that. We’re not playing any games, we’re very transparent with them. We’ve said that if they want to be on the calendar, they need to do what we believe is right for them. That’s right. It’s the same for us in F1.

Las Vegas Grand Prix track map

Las Vegas Grand Prix track map

“So I think I would say the quantity and quality of the games also respect the so-called history.

“But it’s clear that the perception of these historic places has changed over the past few years as they realize that the landscape is different.”

Of course, it all depends on Vegas being successful on all fronts. Liberty boss Maffei insists the aim is to get things right the first time and make the game a cash cow.

“Our goal should be to be greedy long-term, in the sense that we’re going to have high revenue streams and we’re going to have high cost streams,” he said.

“But it’s more important that we deliver a great experience for everyone involved than that we create it in the first year.

“I think in the long run we’re going to make a lot of money in Vegas. I’m excited, I think we’re going to make money this year, big money.

“But more than that, we deliver a great experience for our drivers, our patrons, our fans, our spectators, everyone involved. That’s what we aim for.”


Vandoorne to drive Aston Martin F1 car in Pirelli tyre test at Spa




Aston reserve driver Vandoorne will share driving duties with team principal Lance Stroll, while Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will each drive a day for McLaren.

It will be the Belgian’s first time driving an active F1 car on track since December 2020 when he represented Mercedes in Abu Dhabi testing.

While the Spa test will focus on Pirelli’s no-carpet tyres, it will give Vandoorne a valuable opportunity to sample the 2023 car, helping him correlate with Aston Martin’s simulator work.

If either Stroll or Fernando Alonso were unwell at any point for the rest of the season, his life would also be made easier.

The 31-year-old shared the Aston substitute with defending Formula Two champion Felipe Drugovich, and the two took turns on call.

Dubovic drove the AMR23 for two days during the Bahrain test in February, when Stroll was not present, and he had the opportunity to test drive the AMR23. Since then, the Brazilian has continued to rack up more miles in private testing of the 2021 car.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Reserve Driver, Aston Martin F1 Team

Stoffel Vandoorne, Reserve Driver, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photography: Mark Sutton/ motorsport pictures

As well as his role at Aston, Vandoorne is one of McLaren’s backup drivers and his performance at Spa will also make it easier for him to step into the MCL60 should the need arise.

As well as giving him a general feel for downforce levels for 2023, the two cars share the Mercedes powerplant and thus have similar settings on their respective steering wheels.

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Vandoorne made his F1 debut for McLaren in Bahrain in 2016, replacing current Aston team-mate Alonso.

He then completed two full seasons in 2017 and 2018, the first with Honda power and the second with Renault. He finished 16th at the World Championships in both seasons, with a best finish of seventh.

He was dropped by McLaren at the end of 2018, but has since rebuilt his career in Formula E, winning the 2021-22 championship for Mercedes and serving as an F1 substitute.

He currently drives for the DS Penske Formula E team and is also a substitute for the Peugeot WEC team.

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McLaren “true contenders” for F1 best of the rest tag




McLaren has only scored one point after three rounds in 2023 as it struggles to find the car competitive.

But both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have seen plenty of upgrades in recent races, allowing the former to finish second in a row, while Piastri has finished in the top five in each of his past two races.

Despite being 136 points behind second-placed Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, Russell believes McLaren is a real threat for the remainder of the race behind leaders Red Bull.

“Obviously they’re a real contender for second fastest team,” Russell said of Woking.

“Oddly enough, Aston Martin was clearly second at the start of the year.

“And they don’t seem to be that competitive now. Ferrari haven’t made much progress. McLaren has made huge progress.

“So without McLaren we’d be very, very happy with the progress we’ve made. Leading the midfield, widening the gap and closing in on Red Bull.

“McLaren has just fully embraced it. But that makes you optimistic that bigger strides are possible.

“I believe in my team. I think it gives us the confidence and optimism to take this step towards Red Bull.

“We’re not too focused on McLaren, Aston or Ferrari. We’re focused on Red Bull. We’re trying to make that big step.”

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photography: Steve Etherington/ motorsport pictures

Russell fought his way back from 18th on the grid at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, jumping to sixth at the checkered flag after Mercedes strategists told him 11th was his favorite.

Russell was pleased with the final result, but felt it was “proof” of a “missed opportunity” for Hungary.

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“The strategy tells me that if we maximize everything, the P11 is the most realistic, the P7 is the most realistic,” Russell told Autosport.

“Sixth place without a safety car, without a VSC, it’s a really great result.

“But it also proved that this weekend could be a missed opportunity. I believe I could have gone there with Lewis yesterday, it’s one of my favorite circuits and the car always does well here.

“When you have two cars out there, fighting for second gives you more options, and Lewis is also very strong. If things turned out a little differently, he would also be P2.

“So as a missed opportunity we will learn from it. But the positive side is we are leading Aston and Ferrari.”

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Top speed, car sizes, race weekends and more compared




Formula 1 has relied on junior classes to develop the next generation of drivers, and its teams are eager to snag their brightest talent.

The ‘old’ Formula 2 car was a ruleset rather than its own separate entity, sometimes sharing the grid with F1, and later rule changes made the two cars separate championships.

The second class was renamed the F3000 in 1985 as the series switched to a naturally aspirated engine formula and extended the life of the earlier Cosworth DFV lineage. Throughout the life of the F3000, different engine and chassis suppliers came and went, with companies including Reynard, Lola, Ralt and March among them, all producing cars before the championship became a single specification.

When the F3000 championship began to fade due to declining team interest and declining track quality, the second level of racing was reborn in 2005. Bernie Ecclestone tried to bring the junior championship to F1’s bottom line and, along with Flavio Briatore and Bruno Michel, helped build the GP2 series.

GP2 became the FIA ​​Formula Two Championship in 2017, but many key hallmarks of GP2’s early series have stood the test of time. The GP3 series, a third-tier category designed to compete with the myriad Formula 3 championships around it, was added to the F1 Act in 2010 and became FIA ​​Formula 3 in 2019.

There are major differences in the way F2 is run compared to F1, there are subtle changes in form and there are big differences in the overall performance of the cars. The following are the key areas of comparison between F1 and F2.

F1 vs. F2 – key differences


Formula 1

Formula Two

top speed

220+ mph

208 mph

Minimum weight including driver

798 kg

788 kg




engine size

1.6 liter V6

3.4 liter V6

Approximate Power

1,000 horsepower

620 hp

car size

5.63m x 2m x 0.95m

5.22m x 1.9m x 1.09m

tire size

18 inches

18 inches

game every weekend

One (two for sprint weekends)

Two (one sprint, one feature)

game length

305 km/190 miles

Sprint – 120 km/74.5 miles

Features – 170 km/105.6 miles






twenty two

2023 Pole Times – Red Bull Ring

1 point 04.391

1 meter 14,643

2023 Pole Times – Monaco

1 meter 11.365

1 meter 21.053

2023 Pole Times – Silverstone

1 meter 26.720

1 meter 39,832

Current single-spec F2 cars can be seen as simpler, smaller versions of F1 cars

Current single-spec F2 cars can be seen as simpler, smaller versions of F1 cars

Photography: Simon Galloway/ motorsport pictures

What is the difference between F1 and F2 racing?

In F1, each team designs its own chassis according to a set of well-defined technical regulations laid down by the FIA. For the 2022 ruleset, the FIA ​​has updated the wording of the rules to better define the bounding box within which bodies can be developed and build a system more in line with the proliferation of available CAD products.

It features a range of safety systems such as a roll cage, halo and anti-intrusion panels mounted around the monocoque. There are also anti-collision structures on the side, front and rear of the car to minimize the impact on the driver in the car.

F2 is a single-spec series with all teams using the Dallara F2 2018 model. The car and driver must weigh a minimum of 788kg and feature F1 standard safety features such as the aforementioned crash structures and halos. Use only parts supplied by Dallara, Hewland or sold by F2 promoters.

F2 cars use floor venturi tunnels, which F1 adopts in 2022, 40 years after banning ground-effect aerodynamics. These designs aren’t as extreme as those in F1, but they work on the same principle, and the car is also enhanced with front and rear wings to create downforce. Like F1, F2 cars are fitted with a Drag Reduction System (DRS), which operates on the same parameters as its parent series.

While F1 cars typically reach speeds in excess of 220 mph during a race, with DRS switched on, an F2 car could theoretically hit 208 mph at full low downforce.

What is the difference between F1 and F2 tires?

Pirelli supplies all championships on the official F1 ladder, and F2 and F3 also use the Italian company’s rubber.

F2 started using 18-inch tires in 2020, two years before entering F1. F2 tires are slightly narrower than F1 tires and generally have less grip because of the naturally lower speeds of the junior series cars.

There are four dry-weather tire compounds for the F2: hard, medium, soft and supersoft – with the first three using the same white, yellow and red color coding as the F1. Extra soft textures are indicated by purple text on the side walls. Each car is supplied with five sets of dry weather tires per wheel, consisting of two of the prescribed compounds, with a set of “premium” tires to be returned after practice. Three sets of wet tires are also available – the F2 has no intermediate compound.

Tire blankets are banned in F2, meaning drivers must warm up their tires naturally. This often creates a larger offset during the pit stops, with drivers leaving the pits vulnerable to those who have already completed laps in the new group.

The “primary” and “option” compounds (harder tires are the main tires and softer tires are the options) must be used during featured races, and pit stops are required to replace them. Tire parking is allowed during a sprint, but not mandatory. Since only two dry compounds are used each weekend, Pirelli and F2 decide which tire to use before the weekend. There may be a single step in the compound (for example, medium and soft), or there may be a larger step for greater excursions (for example, medium and extra soft).

620bhp Mecachrome F2 engine

620bhp Mecachrome F2 engine

Photography: Sutton Images

What is the difference between F1 and F2 powertrains?

F1 has used a turbo-hybrid system since 2014, with a turbocharger and a motor-generator set on the rear axle to form a hybrid package. The internal combustion engine is a 1.6-liter V6. By 2022, F1 engines run on E10 fuel, where 10% of the fuel composition consists of combustibles of biosourced origin.

The MGU-K in an F1 car can produce up to 160bhp for a total power output of around 1000bhp. Figures for F1’s current four powertrain manufacturers (Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Red Bull Powertrain) vary but are all believed to have efficiencies in excess of 50%.

F2’s single-spec powertrain is produced by French manufacturer Mecachrome, which briefly participated in F1 in 1998 and 1999, and took over Renault’s engine program. The Mecachrome unit was a 3.4-litre V6 engine, virtually the same one used in the F3, but with a modified turbocharger from Van der Lee. It produces around 620bhp and is driven by a six-speed Hewland gearbox.

To ensure fairness in powertrain supply, Mecachrome units are randomly assigned to teams, as there may be minor differences in overall power output.

F2 is currently being used as a test bed to assist F1 in developing more sustainable fuel, using Aramco-produced fuel with 55% of its content from sustainable bio-sources, with the aim of increasing this figure to 100% by 2026/27. The Saudi oil brand replaced longtime supplier Elf as the sole producer of the F2 fuel.

How much does F1 cost compared to F2?

In recent years, Formula 1 has been constrained by a cost cap of about $135 million through 2023, with some minor adjustments for inflation and other ancillary costs. The cost cap covers most development and operating costs, but excludes driver salaries, salaries of the team’s three highest-paid employees, travel costs and marketing expenses. As Red Bull found out in 2022, violating this cap carries a range of penalties depending on the extent of the overrun.

The bulk of this budget comes from the FIA’s prize money, investment and sponsorship mix. Some teams, such as Red Bull and Mercedes, are self-sufficient in terms of bonuses and sponsors and do not require direct input from their ownership structures.

F2 teams have much smaller budgets, and with the series’ fairly limited reach, teams will rarely start the season with a full sponsor portfolio ready to fund every race. As such, drivers should pay for their rides through their own sponsors or a driver academy.

Depending on the team, the budget of an F2 driver can vary from 2 million to 3 million euros, and can even exceed this budget to get a seat in a better team. To keep costs down, F2 limited the number of employees working on each car on race weekends and designed the cars to be relatively cheap. A team can buy a complete F2 car, without the engine, for around 500,000 euros.

George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc are recent notable F2 graduates entering F1

George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc are recent notable F2 graduates entering F1

Photography: Glenn Dunbar/ motorsport pictures

How do drivers get from F2 to F1?

To compete in F2, drivers must hold an A or B international FIA license. They cannot conduct private tests on F2 machines, only the group tests offered by the series. There are also restrictions on the single-seater cars that drivers can test in private, and if a driver is double-duty in another category, they must commit to racing in F2 in the event of any conflict.

Depending on a driver’s final standing at the end of the F2 season, they may receive Superlicense points to help qualify for F1. To obtain a super license to compete in F1, a driver needs to earn 40 points.

The distribution of Super License points is:

end of season position

SL points

first place


second place


third place


fourth place


the fifth place


sixth place


Number 7


number 8




No. 10


These can be applied cumulatively over the course of three seasons.

F1 VS F2 weekend format

F1 has been running in the same basic format for years, with FP1 and FP2 taking place on Fridays, each one hour long. FP3 races are also one hour long and take place on the Saturday before the three-stage qualifying format in place since 2006. F1 races must be at least 305 kilometers in length (excluding Monaco) and must not exceed two hours in duration, with a three-hour window if any red flags are raised.

However, sprint weekends are different and that changes for 2023. The only practice session kicked off with Friday’s race, followed by qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Sprint qualifying and the race are both held on Saturdays, with 2023 seeing six sprint weekends for added variety.

F2 has a practice session lasting 45 minutes on Friday, with a half-hour qualifying session later in the day. It’s effectively a time trial and drivers just need to maintain the fastest lap at the end of the race to secure pole for Sunday’s race.

Many F1 teams have junior drivers in F2 teams

Many F1 teams have junior drivers in F2 teams

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool

The sprint race takes place on Saturday, using the same grid as qualifying, but with the top ten swapped. The number of laps “equal to the minimum number of complete laps over a distance of 120 km (100 km in Monaco)”, according to the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system, the score is finally dropped to eighth place, and the fastest lap points are awarded to the top 10 competitors.

The F2 weekend’s featured race “should be equal to the minimum number of complete laps over a distance of 170km (140km in Monaco, 160km in Budapest)”. It features mandatory pit stops where drivers must use both primary and optional compounds during the race. If a driver pits before completing the sixth lap, the mandatory stop does not count. This information is also not recorded if a driver stops under the Virtual Safety Car unless they are already in the pits when the VSC is triggered.

F2 attempted three weekend races in 2021, but the practice was generally unpopular and canceled for 2022 due to gaps left on the calendar. Prior to this, the main race was held on Saturday, and the starting position of the sprint race was determined by the results and the reversal of the top eight.

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