More than 40,000 fans turned out in Las Vegas over the weekend to join in the launch party for next year’s grand prix along the iconic Strip.
Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and Sergio Perez were on hand to provide car demonstrations in both modern and older machinery as Formula 1 closed down parts of Las Vegas Boulevard with just over one year to go until the third race in the United States joins the schedule.
“I am so excited to be here in Vegas,” Hamilton said “Just driving down that Strip, watching movies like so many of you have seen in Vegas, and the lights, this race is for sure going to be the best race of all time!
“We have races like Singapore, Monaco for example is pretty hectic. It’s definitely not going to be easy (to focus), but we’ll be here to try and win the race of course. Hopefully we get to enjoy a bit of what this city has to offer.
“Honestly it’s a surprise always to see so many people here, the whole way around the circuit and the support from all of you – people who have come out to Austin, Miami, it’s been phenomenal this year so thank you so much for the support.”
The Mercedes drivers had neon lights under their F1 cars as part of the demonstration and after trying out the track layout Russell says he expects the circuit to put on a show for fans.
“Vegas baby!” Russell said. “It’s super-exciting this race, it’s wild already, and this time next year it’s going to be crazy. I can’t wait for it.
“I don’t think this is going to probably be the most exciting one to drive, but for you guys watching I feel like this race is designed for good racing, for overtakes, entertainment, and I think it’s going to be super-exciting.
“But to be honest I don’t really care as long as we’re at the front – that’s what it’s all about!”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner and Williams boss Jost Capito – along with Williams driver Alex Albon – also made appearances on the main stage, while F1 president Stefano Domenicali was joined by Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei and Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm to paint the start line as track development work continues in Sin City.
There was an afterparty that featured a special performance by The Killers, while a drone show followed the official launch of ticket sales for the event.
Next year’s race will take place from November 16-18, with the grand prix held on the Saturday night, and the race organizers say they saw “overwhelming demand” for pre-registration for its Priority Interest List.