F1 takes over Las Vegas: Event CEO Rene Willem talks closing The Strip & GP’s billion-dollar impact | Formula 1 news

F1 takes over Las Vegas: Event CEO Rene Willem talks closing The Strip & GP’s billion-dollar impact |  Formula 1 news

Ahead of this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, race chief executive René Willem gave Sky Sports F1 the inside track on how the event will unfold.
The story of Vegas’ return to Formula 1 begins in 2021, with the impact of Netflix’s Drive to Survive campaign and a thrilling title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton raising the sport’s popularity in the US to new heights.

Liberty Media, the American owner of Formula 1’s global commercial rights, has been considering how best to ensure the momentum built on the other side of the pond is not wasted.

A deal has just been confirmed for the first Grand Prix in Miami, which will take place in 2022, but this spectacular event alone does not mark the end of the game.

Relive the excitement from the last time Formula 1 visited Las Vegas in 1982, which saw Italian driver Michele Alboreto win for Tyrrell, with Williams racer Keke Rosberg claiming his maiden title

“About two and a half years ago, I started coming to Las Vegas to meet with regulators and property owners in order to get their approval to basically shut down the Strip for what we knew was going to be an epic event,” Willem recalls.

Gaining this acceptance was undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges facing Willem and her team, with compromise required from both the owners of Vegas’ many iconic establishments and the city’s residents.

“Once we were able to gain strength and support for our project, we announced that we would hold our first Grand Prix in Las Vegas in March of 2022, and from that point on, it went full speed ahead,” says Willem.

With Liberty Media self-promoting an F1 event for the first time, Willem has moved from her position as the company’s head of legal and administration to head up the new venture.

A billion reasons to organize this event

Ultimately, it was not just good intentions that convinced key figures, and perhaps more importantly some of the iconic venues along the Strip, to agree to an unprecedented disruption to their usual business.

Although Las Vegas has no shortage of visitors on a normal weekend, Formula 1 will bring in a crowd of stars and customers that should theoretically offset any inconvenience businesses may experience.

“So we are expected, with the help of our advisors, to bring $1.2 billion in economic value to the Valley this weekend,” Willem explained.

Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater takes a look at the Las Vegas Formula 1 circuit and what we can expect from the ‘star-studded’ race

“This includes all of the staff that we have engaged as well as all of the revenue that our local partners will generate, and obviously the tax revenue that is generated for the state of Nevada as well such as Clark County.

“So all of this is going to have a huge impact economically.

“I believe our partners, including our founding partners, MGM, Wynn and Caesars, are very excited to bring the level of Ultra VIP entertainment and hospitality to the F1 fan base.”

In addition, thanks to Formula 1, some of the city’s most used roads have been renovated.

“We re-paved the entire 3.8 miles of track,” Willem said. “This includes a significant portion of the public right-of-way as well as the private land acquired by Liberty Media at the corner of Harmon and Coval, which is the home of Formula 1 in North America and houses our new pit building.”

“Drivers will be happy not to race in the heat.”

One of the biggest talking points ahead of the event was how relatively cool evening temperatures could affect the cars’ performance.

Formula 1 largely follows the sun around the world, while other night races on the calendar are held in countries where the heat remains high even after sunset.

As Formula 1 heads to Las Vegas for the next race, Max Verstappen has given his thoughts on racing along the famous track!

When the cars take to the track for qualifying and the race, on Friday and Saturday nights (local time) respectively, temperatures are expected to be around 10 degrees Celsius.

It looks likely to be the coldest race in the sport since the 1978 Canadian Grand Prix, with temperatures dropping to five degrees Celsius during the race.

While the conditions are sure to create some challenges for drivers and teams, especially in terms of keeping their tires within optimal operating windows, Willem is not overly concerned.

“I think the drivers will be very happy not to race in the extreme temperatures they have experienced recently,” she said. “You can always layer clothes, it’s hard to take off layers.”

“We have worked closely with the teams and the Formula 1 sporting department and have been in talks with Pirelli to ensure that we will have a high degree of race quality and that the tires that will be brought to the city for this event have been tested. They have been carefully selected, given the variety of temperatures that “It can be experienced at night here in November.”

Naomi Schiff looks ahead to the Las Vegas Grand Prix and wonders: Could cold weather put a damper on business?

As for the spectators, Willem says: “I think the electricity and excitement that will come out of the track and the crowds of people who will be enjoying the weekend together will definitely raise the temperatures enough that everyone will feel comfortable.” “.

And if you’re wondering why the race starts so late, it’s for you! The start times were subsequently pushed up largely to provide European ‘heritage’ fans with the opportunity to watch qualifying and the race live over breakfast, rather than at midnight.

“So in America we wake up early to have a cup of coffee and enjoy watching European races,” says Willem. “Now that is essentially being reversed, and we invite everyone in Europe to enjoy watching what will be a historic event with their morning coffee.”

“A whole new level of entertainment and engagement”

While the show will look stunning on television, organizers also aim to provide an unparalleled experience for those attending the event.

“I believe we are taking the Formula 1 race weekend to a whole new level of fan engagement and entertainment,” said Willem.

“We have taken steps that are completely different from any other races on the calendar. For example, our grandstands and general admission are all-inclusive, non-alcoholic food and beverage, served by the famous Wolfgang Puck.

“This is an opportunity for fans to participate and enjoy the experience, not having to stand in long lines, not having to spend a lot of money on food because they bought a ticket where we basically embrace them and provide them with that great experience on the road.

“Our Paddock Club is the largest dressage club on the calendar and we have held nothing back in terms of providing a VIP hospitality opportunity, along with unique Las Vegas entertainment.

“So think of Cirque du Soleil’s and the Blue Man Group touring and create this new level of entertainment that we hope will set a new standard across our calendar.”

For Willem and Liberty media, they hope this event is the final piece of the American puzzle, at least for now.

“You look at the three American races, and each has its own unique identity,” she said. “Austin, the heart of America. Miami, the glamour, the Latin flavor, and now Las Vegas, the home of glamour, and now speed marriage.

“So together these three races really highlight what we believe are some of the greatest aspects of the United States and how we can bring our sport into the everyday lives of Americans.”

Get ready for the big event: Formula 1 in Las Vegas! Watch drivers race along the Strip, past landmarks such as Caesars Palace and Bellagio, on Formula 1’s newest street track. Watch the entire Las Vegas GP weekend live on Sky Sports F1 from November 17-19. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *