Weather forecast for F1 in Las Vegas much colder than organizers anticipated, posing significant challenges

It could be in the 50s when the Las Vegas Grand Prix begins.
(Dan Istitene – Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Formula 1 appears to have been caught off guard by Las Vegas weather conditions in November.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is set to start at 10 p.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) for two reasons: A late start in Vegas ensures the race will be broadcast on Sunday morning in Europe. Additionally, a primetime show means the glamour of the Las Vegas strip will be on full display.

However, the late start time also means it’s going to be cold, colder than expected for a Formula 1 race. The forecast for Las Vegas calls for a high of 69 degrees and a low of 48, with race temperatures likely to be in the 50s. Former Formula 1 executive Ross Brawn noted F1 didn’t realize it got so cool at night in Las Vegas in November.

“So, it can be really quite cold and of course getting the cars to work in those temperatures can be a challenge.”

F1 hasn’t held a race in such cold temperatures since 1978, when the Canadian Grand Prix was held in October. Pirelli, the official tire supplier, has been tasked with determining which tire compounds should be used for the weekend, but encountering a colder-than-normal race presents an additional challenge.

Teams are meticulous about the temperatures where their cars operate best, including the tires. If teams can’t get their tires into the preferred operating zone, the tires could start to grain and wear unevenly, leading to a lack of grip – a dangerous situation for drivers on a tight track in Las Vegas.

Unlike most tracks, there’s little room for error at the Las Vegas circuit enclosed by walls. As drivers navigate a new track in unfamiliar conditions, don’t be surprised if there are incidents during practice and qualifying ahead of the Grand Prix.

Saturday’s forecast for Las Vegas,
It was 41 degrees Fahrenheit during the race


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