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Toto Wolff

Wolff in the dark ahead of Las Vegas Grand Prix

The Mercedes Team Principal doesn't know what to expect ahead of F1's inaugural race down the Las Vegas Strip this weekend.

Wolff US
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Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has conceded the team "don't know what to expect" when tackling the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Teams face a venture into the unknown on a new track surface in the Nevada City, with the temperatures at night set to be below 10 degrees Celsius in the desert.

The extreme conditions are predicted to wreak havoc across the weekend and speaking to Bloomberg, Wolff explained: "The drivers have already been in the simulator and I spoke to Lewis [Hamilton] afterwards and he said that the straight was very long and impressive.

"We don't know what to expect because we race at 22:00 and 00:00 and the Nevada nights I hear can be very cold.

"The only night races we have experience with are in Singapore and in the Middle East. This is a new circuit, with temperatures of about five degrees centigrade and with Pirelli tyres that have never been used in these kinds of temperatures."

Las Vegas 'stands for entertainment and show'

"Las Vegas stands for entertainment and show," added Wolff.

"Liberty [Media] came up with the plan, which is great to be honest, we have not raced in Las Vegas for a long time - certainly not in modern Formula 1.

"Going there with this new format in the night is going to be spectacular.

"The track is brand new which means the surface can be quite greasy or oily, because that what asphalt does when it is new.

"We haven't raced in these temperatures before but in any case, it is going to be a big spectacle.

"I don't know if we are going to be sliding around or whether the track is going to be really grippy, but we shall find out in a few days."

On how the team will combat the low temperatures on the softest Pirelli tyres available, Wolff said: "We've had it in the past that sometimes, you just need to slowly warm up the tyres because if you push them to hard in the beginning, they grain.

"Then you just slide all over the surface and the grip is never going to come, so bringing them in carefully and getting them up to temperature - that could last a few laps depending on how much you heat your rims and brakes beforehand.

"Teams have various concepts - they either want to have the front tyres really cool and long-lasting, or you heat them a lot and that gives you grip for a single lap but obviously harms the race."

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