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George Russell

Las Vegas 'will not be an iconic circuit' - Russell

The Mercedes driver feels racing on the Las Vegas Strip circuit will be a challenge - and feels a combination of factors will make the weekend tricky.

Las Vegas
To news overview © XPBimages

The Las Vegas Strip Circuit, in its current layout, will not become "an iconic" Formula 1 track, George Russell believes.

Featuring a 1.2-mile blast down the Strip itself, the track is set to present drivers with a number of challenges, including lack of tyre temperatures, long straights to cool the tyres and a lack of a slipstream effect owing to the low downforce wings set to be used.

Skinnier rear-wings often promote less overtaking with the DRS as the drag is already reduced, meaning DRS trains can be formed at tracks such as Monza.

Thicker rear-wings allow a driver to dump more drag and boost their top speed, by both gaining the DRS and a slipstream from the car ahead - with Russell also highlighting the ride-heights of the cars as a potential area that could make or break a weekend owing to the bumps.

Russell downplays Las Vegas

"It is definitely not going to be an iconic circuit in terms of its layout, it has been designed to try and enhance racing," Russell explained when asked by RacingNews365 for his thoughts on the track.

"I'm not too sure how good the race is going to be because there's big long straights, but because we're all on minimum downforce, the slipstream effect won't be that great.

"The DRS is worth about a tenth per straight, and when you compare that to somewhere like Barcelona where it is worth six-tenths on the straight, it may not be as straightforward as one may think to race.

"The number one thing is going to be the tyres, with these cold conditions and the big long straights, the surface of the tyres are going to be really cold - and prone to graining.

"It is going to be very difficult to strike that balance between qualifying and race performances - and with learning the circuits, the bumps across the track, you might be able to find a smoother line down the straight or you're clobbering into bumps, which forces you to raise the car and lose performance.

"We've also got no support series here which means that every single time we drive on the track, there is going to be a huge reset, especially overnight when you've got the general public back on the roads. The first lap in FP1 and FP3 is going to be dusty and dirty, nobody will have driven on there for 24 hours, and you need to take that into consideration as well."

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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