F1 Grand Prix set for midnight finish in first Saturday race since 1985

The addition of Las Vegas to the calendar for 2023 will see F1’s latest ever race start time.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will incorporate the gambling mecca’s famous Strip, will become the third US race on schedule next year, joining Miami and Austin. It will be the penultimate race of the year, taking place on November 18, a Saturday, with practice and qualifying also a day earlier than usual on the Thursday and Friday.

It will be the first time since 1985 that an F1 race will not be staged on a Sunday. The race is due to start at 10pm local time (6am UK time), meaning an early start for fans across Europe.

READ MORE: F1 fans fume amid report Las Vegas Grand Prix tickets could cost up $100,000

Grand Prix races usually last around one-and-a-half hours and have a two-hour time limit, unless the race is red-flagged. With safety cars a regular occurrence on street tracks, the 50-lap race could easily finish close to midnight.

With more than a year to go, promotion for the race has already started, with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali declaring: “The Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to take F1 race weekends to the next level.

“Staging a Grand Prix in the sports and entertainment capital of the world has allowed us to plan a truly spectacular celebration that has never been seen in our sport before, in the greatest arena on earth.

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“The entire city is buzzing with excitement for next year’s race. Our fans simply don’t want to miss this event. It is clear the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be the must-have ticket for 2023.”

However, there are concerns that working-class F1 fans could be priced out of attending the event, with many tickets to be sold as part of hotel packages for vast sums.

The owner of one of Las Vegas’s biggest hotels, the MGM, is reportedly planning to buy $20-25million worth of F1 tickets and package them with hotel stays. Rooms may cost three times their usual rate, up to an eye-watching $100,000.

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