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Formula 1 Las Vegas GP

Stella: F1 drivers “taken to the limit” by Las Vegas show elements

McLaren boss Andrea Stella suggests that the “challenging” timetable and on the “limit” spectacle need looking at for Formula 1’s next Las Vegas Grand Prix. 

The opening ceremony

While last weekend’s event ultimately delivered a spectacular race, there were aspects of the weekend that have clear room for improvement. 

The late timetable, with qualifying starting at midnight and the race at 10pm, pushed F1 personnel to the physical and mental limit.  

And that was before factoring in the travel and timezone adjustment needed for this weekend’s F1 finale in Abu Dhabi. 

Furthermore, the showbusiness element of the weekend was not without its critics, as even Stella suggested that drivers had perhaps been pushed too far in what they were asked to do throughout the event. 

Reflecting on his thoughts on the event, Stella said: “I think the timetable is very challenging. It's very challenging for the staff, and it's very challenging for everyone, so ideally this is also a matter that can be reviewed.  

“And, what I could say [also] is that it was a stretch, it was taken to the limit, in terms of the spectacle, in terms of the entertainment and the show.  

“I think it's good to some extent because I'm sure it was enjoyed. But we just have to ask ourselves whether that's just going a little too far.  

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren

“Certainly the point of involving drivers we support 100% because the drivers are the engine of the popularity of the sport and the success of the sport. But at the same time, what I could see is that for the drivers as well, it's been a very busy weekend.  

“So we need to see if this is the right trade-off between keeping drivers focused on the fact that they have to go racing, and also supporting the show. So definitely there are a few points that deserve consideration.” 

But while there were some aspects of the weekend that have room for improvement, Stella thinks the track layout itself was a success as it helped promote good racing. 

“The track layout is such that certainly favours good racing,” he said. “I would expect that we didn't have good racing only because the tyres were behaving in a particular way. I think it is the track layout that has helped.  

“But the tarmac, if we want to race at night, it's just too slippery. We had crashes. We had a pretty busy corner one after the start, so we could have a situation like Australia. So we should prevent having this problem. We shouldn't wait for them to happen.”

Additional reporting by Filip Cleeren

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