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Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo: 'Hallucinating' after 'sketchy' Las Vegas schedule

The AlphaTauri driver is insistent on changes being made to the Las Vegas Grand Prix schedule for health and safety reasons following the unusual timings.

Ricciardo Las Vegas
To news overview © XPBimages

Daniel Ricciardo believes some in the Formula 1 paddock were "hallucinating" as a result of the "sketchy: Las Vegas Grand Prix schedule.

With Vegas being eight hours behind the UK and nine behind the rest of Europe, the desire for a primetime night race down the Strip led to F1 hosting its first Saturday race since the 1985 South African Grand Prix with a 22:00 local time start.

The weekend schedule ran at least six hours after sunset, with sections of the track being handed back over to the city during daylight hours, with qualifying getting underway at 00:00 local time on Saturday morning.

After the incidents that curtailed and heavily delayed Free Practice on Thursday/Friday, it wasn't until 04:00 on Friday that FP2 was completed.

The race was effectively a Japanese Grand Prix held in the western United States to serve the purpose of friendly TV times in Europe, as a 19:00 local start time would have been 03:00 in the UK, but Ricciardo is sure that changes need to be made when F1 returns next November.

Ricciardo warns: 'We'll be wrecked'

"It was definitely sketchy, I don't know what they can do with the track opening times, but if they do have flexibility, I think for everyone's health and safety, they need to bring it forward," Ricciardo told media including RacingNews365.

"Everyone would be operating with just a bit more juice in the tank.

"After Thursday and that late session (with Free Practice 2 not finishing until 04:00 Friday local time), I feel like all of us have probably been delirious and hallucinating.

"It's been a whirlwind. The paddock is huge, it's had a bit of atmosphere but the only two things I would critique would be the asphalt, we just need to get some more grip out of it, and the start times.

"We need to bring them earlier, that would be a little smoother."

Ricciardo was then informed that in 2024, Las Vegas forms the first leg of a triple-header with Qatar and Abu Dhabi to round out the season.

"That does not get my vote, now knowing that, they need to bring [the Las Vegas schedule] forward, because we'll be wrecked."

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