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Big challenge for F1 drivers to get temperature in tyre in 'cold' Las Vegas

Big challenge for F1 drivers to get temperature in tyre in 'cold' Las Vegas

05-11-2022 07:52 Last update: 09:02


The 2023 calendar features a brand new Grand Prix. The Las Vegas GP will be the second-to-last race of the season and will be held on 18 November. The problem, though, is that the average temperature drops solidly during that month. Getting the tyres warm could be quite a challenge.

This weekend the new GP will be festively launched by Formula 1. Liberty Media has invested heavily in the event and has put the third race in the United States on the calendar with this Grand Prix. Liberty Media wants Las Vegas to be a great signboard for the sport and is hoping it to contribute to Formula 1's presence in America. The Las Vegas GP should therefore be big and exciting. A spot at the end of the season can contribute to that, but not if it means temperatures are too low.

Getting temperature hard enough according to Verstappen

Indeed, it looks like it is going to be a hell of a job for F1 drivers to get their tyres in the operating window at next year's Las Vegas GP. Average temperatures are relatively low at that time of year. F1 car grip largely depends on the temperature of the tyres. These need to be brought to just the right working temperature by the driver. Two-time world champion Max Verstappen is a master at this, but he complained after the US GP that it is becoming increasingly difficult for drivers.

This is because the FIA has decided to phase out pre-heating tyres using electric blankets from the sport. The bottom line is that next year F1 teams will only be allowed to preheat tyres to 50 degrees Celsius, much to Verstappen's displeasure. It is currently sometimes difficult enough to get the tyres to the right temperature, while the rubber is now heated to seventy degrees Celsius.

Cold Las Vegas makes it difficult

The fact that the race takes place on 18 November could cause quite a problem for drivers and tyre warm-up. This is because November is the month when temperatures generally drop hard in Las Vegas. At the beginning of the month, temperatures vary, according to Weatherspark.com between a maximum of 21 and a minimum of 9 degrees. By the end of the month, it sits between 16 and 5 degrees. On top of that, the race in Las Vegas will not start until 10 PM. The expectation, based on average temperatures, is that it will be around 7 degrees Celsius around the start of the race. This can only get colder as the night progresses.

Weather conditions should be closely monitored by F1 in November. The FIA may have to allow it for that weekend to still allow teams to use the tyre warmers to the maximum. The Las Vegas circuit, with its small number of corners, does not yet seem necessarily very challenging and demanding for the tyres, but the restart after a safety car with these temperatures could cause a lot of problems.

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