November 7, 2022 World
Lewis Hamilton botched the celebratory doughnuts he performed on Saturday evening, following a promotional drive the Formula 1 driver completed down the Las Vegas Strip as part of the Las Vegas Grand Prix launch party. Because of low visibility from the smoke clouds he created with his Mercedes, the seven-time world champion ended up stuck on a Las Vegas Boulevard center divider.
Fans gasped as the big screen broadcast the embarrassing scene when the smoke cleared. Sky Sports broadcaster David Croft, who cohosted the launch party with former racecar driver Naomi Schiff, said: “Oh, he just ran out of turning circle.”
“I nearly crashed yeah,” Hamilton said, laughing off the incident while asked about it on stage. “There was so much smoke, and I had no idea where I was. I was completely lost. I couldn’t figure out the buildings, so I started pulling out, and then the barrier [was there].”
Hamilton was not injured, nor was his car damaged. F1 racers Hamilton, George Russell, and Sergio Perez drove their cars down the Las Vegas Strip to show them off as part of the launch party, (The real track won’t be ready to drive for nearly a year.) Hamilton was the last out for the drive.
Hamilton’s lack of visibility was ironic considering that all three were driving the first F1 cars equipped with “underglow” lights, a neon-blue undercarriage attachment designed to look cool, but also to increase nighttime visibility for the drivers. There is no guarantee that the lights will feature at Las Vegas next year, or in any night race. However, the new car feature has gone viral on social media, with fans expressing hope that all night F1 races will include it.
On Your Marks, Get Set … Pay!
The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place between November 16-18, with tickets, hotel rooms, and packages going fast, despite their high cost.
General admission tickets cost $500 each for three days of standing-only viewing in the MSG Sphere zone only. They include food and non-alcoholic beverages. One seat at either the SG3 or SG8 grandstand in the same zone costs $2,000, while a PG1 grandstand seat in the East Harmon Zone costs $2,500. The pinnacle ticket, a PH1 Skybox Shared Hospitality seat in the East Harmon Zone, costs $10,000.
Tickets went on sale Saturday through ticketmaster.com, but demand is expected to far outstrip the 100K official spectator capacity. The race starts at 10 p.m. Saturday night, Nov. 18, 2023.
MGM Resorts recently joined Caesars Entertainment in announcing its room rates for race weekend, Nov. 17-20, 2023. Bellagio’s lowest average price per night is currently $1,733, or 226 percent more than it’s charging for the same weekend this year. Expect to pay at least $1,633 a night at Aria (346 percent more), $1,000 a night at MGM Grand (310 pecent more), and $887 a night (191 percent more) at Park MGM.