NOVEMBER 13, 2023

Mercedes installs casino ban for Las Vegas GP week

Mercedes will not allow its F1 team staff to spend their downtime at the Las Vegas casinos this week, Toto Wolff has admitted.

George Russell, Brazilian GP 2023
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

The new street track that even takes in the iconic 'Strip' is now taking full shape ahead of this weekend's grand prix, with all eyes now on the forecasts of extremely cold temperatures for the late-night session times.

Whoever warms up the tyres first will be strong, Sky Italia pundit Davide Valsecchi told Autosprint. "It could be a good opportunity for someone else to win.

I feel that Lando (Norris)'s first victory will come here or in Abu Dhabi.

Pirelli boss Mario Isola, meanwhile, is expecting a lot of complaining from the drivers throughout the highly-unique race weekend.

We cannot make a special tyre for Las Vegas, he is quoted by Ekstra Bladet newspaper, "so it is what it is. I imagine there will be very little grip.

They will complain! But it's fine. We can handle that too.

What Mercedes boss Wolff will not be tolerating, however, are reports of staff members feeling the effects of big Vegas-style nights out.

I've never been to Vegas, said the Austrian. "But we're going to keep everybody out of the casinos.

I don't play, so I'm going to make sure that nobody plays, Wolff laughed.

And it appears that Aston Martin may be following the same policy.

There will be a lot of distractions, admitted team boss Mike Krack. It is important to focus when it is the right moment.