Formula 1 returns to Las Vegas this weekend for the first time since 1982. The teams and drivers will face a new circuit layout and, if the current forecast holds, one of the coldest races in F1 history. On-track action will likely be exciting for fans to watch in the inaugural running of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
There’s plenty of excitement off the track as well. The circuit winds its way down the Las Vegas strip and past iconic places like the Bellagio, the Venetian, and Caesars Palace. The sport is promoting the new race as much as possible – including a live golf event in partnership with Netflix – and fans can enjoy some special sights on the strip this week.
Here are some of the best of the many promotions and experiences this week in Las Vegas ahead of Saturday night’s race:
Trailblazer weighs in:Why is F1 second to none when it comes to inclusivity? Allow ‘Mr. Diversity’ to explain.
‘Shoey’ bar at the Bellagio
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo made the “shoey” celebration famous in Formula 1 during his time with Red Bull. Even Sir Patrick Stewart joined the Australian driver with a “shoey” after the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix.
This week, the Bellagio will have a special bar set up at the hotel’s Fountain Courtyard. The “MGM Rewards Shoey Bar” will offer branded driving shoes filled with a cocktail of your choice.
Don’t worry, MGM Resorts said in a statement that the shoe includes a water-proof beverage liner to keep any material out of the drink.
The Aria’s Alfa Romeo Experience
Multiple teams on the Formula 1 grid are teaming up with hotels on the Las Vegas Strip for promotions or fan experiences. Williams’ fan zone is in New York-New York, Ferrari’s pop-up boutique is in the Bellagio, and McLaren has a 2,500-square-foot “experience center” in the Wynn.
But Alfa Romeo’s set up in the Aria goes beyond merchandise, show cars, or heritage cars from prior Formula 1 seasons. Fans can get a “Valtteri Bottas” haircut (a mullet inspired by the one unveiled this year by the team’s Finnish driver), play timing games, and order signature drinks as well.
“The Netflix Cup”:Formula 1, PGA Tour stars come together for live golf tournament
Formula 1-themed wedding chapel
The “wedding capital of the world” offers same-day marriage licenses so couples can waste no time tying the knot or eloping. This week, you can say “I do” in a pit building right next to the circuit. The chapel features racing-themed decorations and couples will receive a bouquet of racing-inspired roses.
Las Vegas Grand Prix curbs
It’s technically not a promotion or event but the Las Vegas Strip Circuit will include themed curbs, an unusual sight in Formula 1. The curbs on the inside and outside of corners are a part of every racetrack and typically are a combination of red and white. There are few exceptions but the F1 grid recently visited one: the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has yellow, green, and white-colored curbs.
This weekend the curbs on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit will feature playing card suit symbols. Diamonds, clubs, spades, and hearts all dot the traditional red and white setup.