Nevada Independent reporter Jacob Solis is a self-described Formula One superfan. We recently had him on the (🎧) City Cast Las Vegas podcast to see if he could win us over:
What makes you excited about F1 being in Las Vegas?
“Well, there's really no other sport like Formula One. This isn't NASCAR. This isn't even IndyCar. In IndyCar, every team uses the same chassis and one of two engines. It's functionally the same car team to team. Every F1 team basically has a completely bespoke car. Because of that, you have a wild variance in the kinds of (aerodynamic) concepts the teams pursue. These cars are some of the fastest on Earth, and they're going 200 mph down the Las Vegas Strip. Truly, it's going to be insane.”
What are these ticket prices all about?
“The Vegas tickets are not just expensive — they are expensive for Formula One. I was talking to a guy who tracks F1 ticket prices, and essentially Vegas is almost four times as expensive as the median F1 ticket. A $2,000 ticket in Vegas is almost twice as expensive as Monaco or Mexico City, the other most expensive races. … From people I've talked to, it's mostly about the kind of clientele they want. They think they can get a lot of high rollers.”
What will be the measure of whether this is a success?
“I think a lot of long-term Formula One fans are disillusioned with the way the sport chooses its tracks. Vegas is clearly a money thing. Europeans who have been fans for decades look at that, and they look at races in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Azerbaijan — rich oil republics with questionable human rights records that have been added to the calendar as money considerations. So I think for this sport, they need to show that Vegas is there because the racing can be worth it. I think for the city, it needs to just not be a disaster from a logistical perspective, right? Shutting down the city needs to be worth the money it generates. Those are two measures of success; one could happen, the other might not.”
(Edited for length and clarity.)
Note: Tune in tomorrow for perspectives on the civic hassles caused by the race. [City Cast Las Vegas 🎧]