Celebrities, excitement, and fun - Las Vegas delivers it all!

Las Vegas overcame early struggles and succeeded.

November 20th 2023.

Celebrities, excitement, and fun - Las Vegas delivers it all!
Kylie Minogue brought some much-needed glamour to the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, which had gotten off to a disappointing start. On Thursday, mechanical problems caused by a loose manhole cover left Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari in ruins and fans who had paid thousands to watch had only seen eight minutes of action.

But the weekend ended on a much more positive note. The race was won by Max Verstappen for the 18th time this year despite receiving a five-second penalty for forcing Charles Leclerc off the road at Turn 1. Sergio Perez, who started 11th, looked like he might just win his first race since April, but both Verstappen and Leclerc were able to draft past on the last lap.

The top three drivers were then treated to a ride in a Rolls-Royce Phantom and taken to the Bellagio hotel for their post-race interviews. There, Verstappen sat between the Mexican and the Monegasque, making for an awkward but memorable occasion.
The weekend was also a success for Alpine, with Esteban Ocon finishing fourth, and they celebrated by visiting Kylie Minogue’s Las Vegas residency at the Wynn hotel, where a deep and meaningful conversation with Cara Delevingne about her mother’s laundry occurred.

Leclerc, despite finishing second, was relieved that the weekend had ended up a win for Formula One. He commented: ‘I really enjoyed it. I think we needed it [to be a success]. Of course, the weekend didn’t start the way it had to start, but I’m so happy that it ended that way. It’s such an incredible sport.’

The organisers offered fans who had a ticket for Thursday’s practice sessions a $200 voucher to be used at its merchandise concessions. However, a local law firm has launched a legal action to pursue a refund to the tune of $30,000 per spectator.

Toto Wolff, who had been incredibly worked up earlier in the week when asked about Thursday’s track chaos, felt satisfied the weekend had ended on a positive note. He said: ‘Lots of things that were said look a little bit out of proportion or too negative because we are leaving Las Vegas after a great weekend. I think it will have increased the popularity of Formula One in the United States, for sure. There’s nothing negative I can find. The drain cover was nothing, like I said. When I look back; a spectacular race, great audiences, a mega event and some good racing at the front. That is what I will remember of the inaugural Las Vegas race that ticked all the boxes.’

This was a sentiment that Carlos Sainz Jr didn't share. He was given a ten-place grid penalty when it was the track that was at fault, not Ferrari, for destroying his car during Thursday’s FP1. He expressed his disappointment saying: ‘I expected more from the sport.’ Apparently, it was Mercedes who objected to Ferrari getting a free pass for a battery change, due to the two constructors being so close in the championship, despite it being a case of force majeure.

The prancing horse’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, was furious with the FIA and his old friend, Toto Wolff. He said: ‘It’s not an easy one, to give a set of tyres or to give an engine, because it’s a gain of performance. But the battery? There is no performance into the battery.’ The accident cost, according to Vasseur, ‘millions’, and the Scuderia intends to have a ‘private discussion’ with the governing body to recoup its losses, which could impact its budget cap.

Ultimately, the Las Vegas Grand Prix was a success. It was a thrilling race, with the spoils eventually going to Max Verstappen. The fans, both in attendance and watching from home, were rewarded with a great weekend of racing and entertainment - capped off by the glamour of Kylie Minogue. It was definitely a weekend to remember.

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