Nov.20 (GMM) Fernando Alonso is backing organisers of the new and highly-criticised Las Vegas GP to bounce back with key improvements for 2024.
Triple world champion Max Verstappen had a long face and a loud and critical voice throughout the race weekend, which Alonso thinks was not just because of the ‘show’ elements but the city layout, based upon the iconic ‘Strip’.
“We have to find a balance,” Alonso agreed, “because it’s not very fun to drive on this type of circuit.
“360kph, no grip, no visibility, all the bouncing. Terrible. I know the spectacle from the outside looks good, but these cars are not made to take corners at 80kph. They’re designed for Barcelona, Silverstone – to maximise the potential of a Formula 1 car.
“So we do have to find a balance in the calendar with traditional races,” he told Spanish media.
However, F1’s oldest active driver said he would not be echoing Verstappen’s complaints about the actual organisation of the event itself.
“The race was well organised,” said the Aston Martin driver, 42.
“Perhaps the schedule was too late for the mechanics, for the press, for the drivers. But I think the second year will be much better. That’s what happened in Miami.
“There are things to improve here, but I think in general it was a good event,” Alonso said.
Spectators furious about being ejected from the circuit because of the manhole cover delay on Thursday have already launched a class action lawsuit after organisers offered them only a $200 merchandise voucher in compensation.
Las Vegas GP CEO Renee Wilm admits some mistakes were made during the event’s first edition.
“I think we could have done a much better job communicating, particularly with all the local residents,” she told AP news agency.
“We really were a start-up with a very small team that was working in a very short amount of time.”
But another huge local criticism was that the event was so disruptive to the local community for weeks – and yet so many of them were then effectively locked out of the actual spectacle due to enormous ticket prices.
“I think we are going to take a look at a lot of things from year one and think about what we did well and what we can improve on next year,” said Wilm.
“I think we want to add more general admission ticketing.”
Alonso’s suggestion that the late-night session times also need tweaking may also be on the cards, the Las Vegas GP and Liberty Media official added.
“Would we look to tweak the timing of some of the practice rounds or qualifying? Possibly,” she said. “We’ll talk with the ecosystem about it.”