The Las Vegas Strip Circuit, in its current layout, will not become
“an iconic” Formula 1 track, George Russell believes. Featuring a
1.2-mile blast down the Strip itself, the track is set to present
drivers with a number of challenges, including lack of tyre
temperatures, long straights to cool the tyres and a lack of a
slipstream effect owing to the low downforce wings set to be used.
Skinnier rear-wings often promote less overtaking with the DRS as
the drag is already reduced, meaning DRS trains can be formed at
tracks such as Monza. Thicker rear-wings allow a driver to dump
more drag and boost their top speed, by both gaining the DRS and a
slipstream from the car ahead – with Russell also highlighting the
ride-heights of the cars as a potential area that could make or
break a weekend owing to the bumps. Russell downplays Las Vegas “It
is definitely not going to be an iconic circuit in terms of its
layout, it has been designed to try and enhance racing,” Russell
explained when asked by RacingNews365 for his thoughts on the
track. “I’m not too sure how good the race is going to be because
there’s big long straights, but because we’re all on minimum
downforce, the slipstream effect won’t be that great. “The DRS is
worth about a tenth per straight, and when you compare that to
somewhere like Barcelona where it is worth six-tenths on the
straight, it may not be as straightforward as one may think to
race. “The number one thing is going to be the tyres, with these
cold conditions and the big long straights, the surface of the
tyres are going to be really cold – and prone to graining. “It is
going to be very difficult to strike that balance between
qualifying and race performances – and with learning the circuits,
the bumps across the track, you might be able to find a smoother
line down the straight or you’re clobbering into bumps, which
forces you to raise the car and lose performance. “We’ve also got
no support series here which means that every single time we drive
on the track, there is going to be a huge reset, especially
overnight when you’ve got the general public back on the roads. The
first lap in FP1 and FP3 is going to be dusty and dirty, nobody
will have driven on there for 24 hours, and you need to take that
into consideration as well.”

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