Ricciardo: F1 at ‘mercy’ of Las Vegas as concerns brushed aside

Daniel Ricciardo concedes Formula 1 could be at “the mercy” of Las Vegas when it comes to the Grand Prix schedule – as he dismissed wider concerns around it.

On-track action in Nevada takes place at least six hours after sunset, with qualifying set for 00:00 local time on Sunday morning as the track is set to be open to the public during the day.

Back in 2017 when Liberty Media first assumed control of F1, Ricciardo was an early proponent of a race in Las Vegas – but the AlphaTauri driver has admitted his surprise at the fact the race is in the heart of Las Vegas.

The AlphaTauri driver also labelled the event a “logistical maze” as F1 gears up for what will be the 1,100th World Championship Grand Prix.

Ricciardo in a maze

“Obviously, we’re going to have a race, it is a normal schedule and if it was some weird schedule where we don’t get any practice, they just send us out there, then I think you’d probably speak differently about it,” Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.

“Logistically in putting this thing together, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, so it is navigating through a bit of a maze right now, but it is going to be pretty cool.

“When they said it was going to happen, probably a lot of people at first thought it might be like Las Vegas Motor Speedway, that is a fair way out, it won’t be Vegas Vegas.

“To pull it off on the Strip is pretty cool, but I do like the races where you stay out and rent an AirBnB and be isolated – but I am also a sucker for Vegas.

“Being here, in amongst it, is cool, but maybe by Saturday, my answer might be different.

“We drove the track last night, because a track-walk at 2am was a little too late for me, but that whole Strip, that long DRS straight, it’s going to be the most exciting straight we’ve ever driven on.

“I don’t know 100% the thoughts behind the schedule, I don’t know if they’re restricted with taking over the Strip – and I’m sure the hotels and the people that own Vegas, so to speak, have a bit of a say.

“So we could be at the mercy of Vegas and their needs and requirements, and if that is the case, if [F1] had total freedom, which I’m probably not sure they did, then I am pretty surprised we have qualifying at midnight.

“It is perfect for Australia, but I am not sure who else is really benefitting, but it is the same for everyone and if the track surface is slippery, if it is as tricky as hell, then it is the same for everyone.”

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