Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake heads to Nevada for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, in what promises to be a spectacular penultimate round of the 2023 season.
It’s a return to Sin City for Formula One, which raced there in 1981 – when Alfa Romeo claimed third place with Bruno Giacomelli – and 1982, in the season-ending Caesars Palace Grand Prix: the similarities, however, end there, as this year’s race will be on a brand-new circuit incorporating the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
Say Vegas and you think of cliches. The neon lights on the Strip, the slot machines and roulette tables, the non-stop partying and the over-the-top hotels: even those who have never been to Nevada’s most famous city can picture its most characteristic features.
But Vegas is not just casinos, bottomless margaritas and Elvis impersonators. Vegas is a city built on adrenaline, a place that lives on emotions, a 24-hour show: it is a natural home for those seeking thrills, for those who want to push the boundaries of what is possible – it is a natural home for Formula One.
Say Vegas and you think of cliches, but there’s a lot more than that to discover: as we head west for one last time this season, we step into the unknown, towards a new circuit, a new paddock, a new way of doing things for the sport, the drivers, the spectators. What happens in Vegas is on display for the whole world: a Saturday night race; the chequered flag at the stroke of midnight; new ceremonies that challenge the status quo, that dare to be new, that dare for daring’s sake. It’s a new page for our sport, and we embrace it with curiosity, with enthusiasm, to see what’s on the other side of the fence: to see the things that will work, those that won’t, those we will change for next year. In this regard, Vegas is the embodiment of Formula One: always pushing the envelope, always trying to find something different to achieve greatness.
Our team head to Vegas to experience Formula One in a special sauce, but with the same commitment, determination and professionalism we display at every race: once the racing starts, no amount of Elvises and Wedding Chapels can distract us from our task. We’ll be there, racing our heart out, showing the world what we can do: place your bets, and put your chips the red and black this weekend.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: “After three weeks on the road in the last triple header, it was good to return to base in Hinwil – where we resumed work right away to properly investigate what caused both DNFs in our cars in Brazil and make sure they do not reoccur. As a positive, our performance improvement went along with lower track temperatures, which gives us confidence as we head to the Nevada desert. We approach Las Vegas with curiosity and excitement, as it is for any new venue making its debut on the calendar. Everyone will be looking to do well here, so we must be at our very best from the first practice session onwards ito get ahead of our closest competitors. With two races left on the calendar, all of us, drivers, the team trackside, and the home team, are going to give all we have to finish the season strongly.”
Valtteri Bottas: “I am looking forward to racing in Las Vegas this weekend: it is always exciting when a new venue hosts a Grand Prix, and we have seen over the years how good they are at putting up a show in the States. It was definitely a shame to end the race – and overall, the triple-header – with a retirement in Brazil, especially as it seemed like we had the chance to bring home some points. Still, we have two more races this season to finish the job, and all of us are motivated to get back into the fight. This is a new track, there are still some variables to discover, so it will be crucial to gather as much data as possible from the practice sessions, to be competitive for qualifying and place ourselves in favourable spots on the grid. From there, if we do our job well, we can challenge our closest competitors to finish in the top ten.”
Zhou Guanyu: “The triple-header didn’t go as we expected, which was unfortunate, as we missed on a few good opportunities to score points – especially two weeks ago in Brazil. The team has been investigating the issues that forced both Valtteri and me to retire, to avoid a repeat. That is now a closed chapter, though, and we prepare to tackle the final two races of the season, starting from this week in Las Vegas. It is my first time here, and I can’t wait to get on track in person – as so far, we have only practiced on the sim. A night race in the desert, with lower temperatures, will make for an interesting mix, and it will be important to get things right from the start. We are motivated to do well here and in Abu Dhabi, and get back to the points: we owe this to our team, for all the work done throughout the season, as well as to our fans for their endless support. Vegas is known for its vast entertainment offering, so hopefully we’ll be able to put up a good show for all of them.”