Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok and other Formula 1 experts are bracing for a weekend filled with excitement and potential challenges. The inaugural race on the new street track has garnered attention due to its unique layout and, notably, the unpredictable and challenging temperatures.
Reflecting on the prospect of racing on a new track, Chandhok expressed his enthusiasm while highlighting the significant unknowns, including the unfamiliar track surface and kerbs. However, he emphasized that the “real curve” for everyone lies in the temperature, presenting substantial challenges for drivers.
“I think coming to a new track is always exciting… But around here I think there’s an extra real curve for everybody, which is the temperature,” Chandhok stated on the Sky F1 Podcast.
Chandhok’s concerns about the temperatures potentially causing disruptions during the Las Vegas Grand Prix are shared by many in the Formula 1 community. He predicted the likelihood of multiple red flags during qualifying and the race due to the combination of high speeds and cold temperatures.
“When the drivers get to the end of that straight and hit the brakes, you have cold brakes, cold tyres, that’s going to be really challenging. I can see a few red flags coming up in qualifying and in the race,” Chandhok warned.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff acknowledged the unique challenges posed by the Las Vegas track and its evening timing, which could result in extremely low temperatures. With both ambient and track temperatures expected to be in the single digits, Wolff highlighted the complexities of the circuit layout and expressed the team’s readiness for the significant challenge.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us all, and we’re looking forward to taking it on. It will also be an immense effort off-track,” Wolff said.
Former F1 boss Ross Brawn added his voice to the concerns about the cold temperatures, emphasizing that the tyre companies have worked to ensure the tires can cope with the challenging conditions. Brawn acknowledged the unforeseen challenge of the Las Vegas Grand Prix being held at night in the Nevada desert.
“We’re definitely facing some new challenges which we’ve never had before, but I think it’ll be spectacular,” Brawn commented.