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Three colors banned from Las Vegas Sphere for F1 Grand Prix

Formula One drivers are bracing themselves for a circuit around the bright lights of ‘Sin City’, but some ‘light’ considerations are being taken.

Formula One drivers are bracing themselves for a circuit around the bright lights of ‘Sin City’, but some considerations are being taken.

Buckle up as we edge ever closer to the much-anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix, a headline-grabbing addition to the 2023 Formula One World Championship. That’s right, Irish rock band U2 - who have been enjoying their globe-shaped temporary home - will make way as the city of blinding lights opens up for the pro-drivers.

Green light nears for Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix

Taking place on Saturday 18 November, the engines will roar into motion at 10 p.m. local time (1 a.m. ET on Sunday) as this high-stakes race will unfold on the iconic Las Vegas Strip, showcasing a dynamic street circuit specially crafted for the occasion. This Grand Prix not only signals the return of Formula One to Las Vegas - remember what happened in the 80s - but also commemorates the 1100th round of the Formula One World Championship. And along with the usual sights, that new $2.3 billion, high definition Sphere has been getting lots of attention as concerns arose about how distracting, and even dangerous, it could be for Verstappen, Hamilton, Leclerc and the rest. Fear not, plans have been made.

Three colors banned from Las Vegas Sphere for F1 Grand Prix

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Red, yellow and blue avoided on Sphere during Las Vegas GP

Given the brightness of the Sphere, and the fact that the race is taking place at night, the colors that are allowed to be displayed have been considered, especially as the drivers need to be aware of other information lights on the circuit, like on any other, throughout.

For this reason, red, yellow and blue will not be shown on the world’s largest high-tech ball during the contest. Speaking with motorsport.com, Joel Fisher, from MSG Entertainment who made the F1 deal happen, explained their efforts.

“It’s all safe. Obviously, we’re going to comply with the FIA’s requirements, and make sure. They’ve come here at night and tested different colours and different things on there. And we know what we shouldn’t show. So we have a show runner to do all that.

“There’s going to be some live footage, there’s helmets, there’s driver cards, there’s ads, there’s all those types of things, and some other surprises.”

Learn more about the Las Vegas Grand Prix track

The street circuit is 6.201 km (3.853 mi) long, has 17 corners, and is 1.900 km (1.181 mi) straight. It runs counterclockwise, starting from a former parking lot that Formula One bought for $240 million and developed for the pits and paddock area, including a permanent track.

The first corner is a hairpin, followed by a slight left bend, leading to a fast right turn. This transition marks the shift from the permanent circuit to the city streets. The cars then travel down Koval Lane for 800 m (0.50 mi) before entering a slow 90-degree right. The track then leads to a long, sweeping left surrounding the new Sphere arena, followed by a left-right twisty section with slight modifications from the original design. The slightly faster left turn transitions onto Sands Avenue before going through two fast bends. The track then takes a slow left turn onto Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as the Las Vegas Strip. The 1.900 km (1.181 mi) flat-out section with two straights and a slight sweeping left passes some of Las Vegas’s most famous hotels and casinos.

The circuit then goes through a tight series of slow corners onto Harmon Avenue, down an 800 m (0.50 mi) straight before going through a high-speed left turn to complete the lap and transition back to the permanent track past the pits.