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Glitzy F1 opening ceremony units tone for divisive Las Vegas GP

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If the groundbreaking, F1 promoted race across the Strip is earmarked because the collection’ very personal Superbowl, then it already served up a halftime present to match a day earlier than on-track proceedings even begin.

F1 pulled out all of the stops to provide a ceremony befitting its leisure pushed host metropolis, that includes appearances by Kylie Minogue, John Legend, Journey, Keith City, Steve Aoki, Thirty Seconds to Mars, J Balvin and DJ Tiesto, in addition to performers from Cirque du Soleil.

Drones carried out a synchronised overhead ballet to welcome the principle grandstand viewers – tickets went for a cool $165 for the 30-minute present – with the occasion topped off by a driver introduction the place all 20 drivers have been raised onto platforms workforce by workforce as they greeted the followers.

The highly-produced set piece seemed to be nicely obtained by the spectators, regardless of some gripes concerning the audio, and fewer awkward than Miami’s hamfisted boxing type intros, with extra buy-in from drivers.

On-line evaluations from the present, which was proven delayed on F1’s YouTube channel, have been much less complimentary, with many followers from F1’s European heartland baffled by the spectacle, which is alien to the collection’ regular manner of doing issues.

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Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Verstappen was not a fan of the glitz and glam of the opening ceremony

If fan opinion was divided, then so was the drivers’ view. By no means one to tug punches, world champion Max Verstappen brought on a stir by proclaiming he felt like a “clown” during the segment wherein he and team-mate Sergio Perez have been hauled up the stage to greet the followers after which lowered again onto the platform once more. A sluggish movement jack-in-the-box.

Daniel Ricciardo, by no means averse to a little bit of glamour and one of many faces of the game within the US, embraced the ceremony wholeheartedly. In the meantime, elder statesman Fernando Alonso did not essentially adore it however appreciated the circus act is precisely the kind of thing F1 must do capitalise on its unique opportunity at cracking Las Vegas, the place ‘low key’ will merely not suffice to face out.

Away from the monitor groups have been tripping over themselves to announce a spate of particular one-off liveries and entertain their company companions, with over half of the grid sporting significant US-based sponsorship or investment. Pink Bull grabbed the headlines by presenting its one-off livery by decreasing a present automobile from the roof of the Omnia night time membership throughout a Tuesday night time launch occasion.

Different eyebrow elevating options embody a marriage chapel on the entrance of the paddock and F1’s customized branding on the spectacular MSG Sphere, with the colors purple, yellow and blue banned throughout the on-track operating to keep away from distracting the drivers.

Whereas the organisers have been clearly scrambling to get the whole lot prepared in time, the final impression from the groups was that regardless of some typical first-day glitches, they appeared impressed by the spacious set-up that F1 constructed by itself plot of land. The logistics of shifting round a busy avenue circuit went smoother than feared, regardless of a jam-packed schedule and the visitors disruptions the occasion has been inflicting.

PLUS: How F1 teams are attempting to negotiate Vegas unknowns

F1 has had to work out logistics in order to host a race on the Strip

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

F1 has needed to work out logistics so as to host a race on the Strip

If something, most points have been brought on by the race’s late-night schedule which, as a part of the season-ending double-header with Abu Dhabi, goes to inflict some severe harm to F1’s travelling personnel.

Luckily, most groups reside in one of many close by casinos and stroll to the venue, which provides to the sense of the occasion being built-in into town itself, fairly than being a sideshow away from downtown like the opposite US rounds in Miami and Austin.

However whereas the Las Vegas Grand Prix’s off-track pageantry was by no means going to cater to all tastes, on the finish of the day F1 stays a sport and the end result of its $500m Vegas wager will hinge on the on-track spectacle, which will get underway on Thursday night with First Free Apply at 8:30pm native.

The prospect of 20 vehicles hurtling down the 1.9km straight on the Strip at night time, on a circuit that promotes overtaking and lacks floor grip, remains to be a tantalising one.

And if F1’s return to Sin Metropolis lastly delivers, then maybe even essentially the most purist motor racing followers might be swayed. And forgive it for its opulent sins.

Has F1 gambled on being a hit in Vegas?

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Has F1 gambled on being successful in Vegas?

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