Despite a dire start when a broken drain cover inadvertently led to fans being removed from grandstands ahead of a delayed practice, the much-vaunted Las Vegas Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races of the 2023 F1 season – blowing away any remaining dark clouds of criticism that had hung over the event.
Miami GP chief Tyler Epp told Autosport that he was delighted with the success of the Vegas race, both for his fellow promoter and F1 itself, and also believes that a strong event there helps the landscape of F1 in the US in general.
“I think it does,” said Epp. “We talk about this a lot; to group all American F1 fans into one bucket is always dangerous, but we all like competition, and we all like drama.
“Gosh, the race in Vegas had both! Our race last May had a good bit of it as well. So, I think anytime we can get great racing on our soil only helps to cultivate that US F1 fan.”
Epp acknowledge the huge undertaking to run the race on public roads, which caused disruption to locals but paid off with a spectacular race and a strong economic boost for the city.
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23
“I can’t say enough about the effort of Renee [Wilm, Las Vegas GP CEO] and her team,” added Epp. “That was a herculean achievement. I think the promoter community is defensive for each other, we know what it’s like when mistakes get made and stories get told, so the job they did was outstanding.
“For us, as an America promoter, we believe in the rising tide of all ships, and we wanted that to be successful.
“We were there, supporting in any way that we could, but I think Renee and the team did everything they could to invest in the sport was absolutely on display by the time Saturday night rolled around.”
The Vegas event was also considered a huge financial success by the adjacent casinos and hotels, whose revenues soared despite the disruption of staging the race on the world-famous Strip.
Nevada’s Gaming Control Board reported that the four-day event helped produce almost $821 million in gaming revenue for Strip casinos during the month, a 22.6% year-on-year increase.
The chief financial officer for MGM Resorts International said the event produced the highest-grossing weekend for hotel revenue in its history, as it sold rooms for 33.7% higher prices than the year before.