F1: Las Vegas race will start 10pm PT Sat. Night

Las Vegas is open 24 Hours a day, so it’s not surprise that the Las Vegas GP F1 race announced last night will start at 10:00pm Pacific Time.

F1 never has started a race at 10:00pm on a Saturday night, so this will be a first.  But it was done for a reason Рso the key Europe market will not be sleeping when the race runs.

However, the East Coast of the USA does get the shaft.

“The local authorities have taken the view that any disruption the race will cause to the area is well worth the trouble. They will make money hand over fist in the casinos, hotels and restaurants. It is good for business all round. That is the conclusion all parties have come to.”

Let’s look at the local start time for some key markets.

West Cost USA East Coast USA England Germany Middle East China Japan
10:00 PM Sat 2:00 AM Sun 6:00 AM Sun 7:00 AM Sun 9:30 AM Sun 1:00 PM Sun 2:00 PM Sun

 

F1 will stage and promote the event itself rather than the host city paying a flat fee to do the honors.

That means all the cash that comes from sponsorship deals, ticket sales and other revenue streams will go straight to F1. It is believed that around $130m per race can be generated through such an arrangement, meaning the Las Vegas Grand Prix would be worth $1.3bn to the sport if, as is hoped, the deal goes on for 10 years.

“Formula 1 cannot be static,” Domenicali said.

“To have a race on Saturday at 3pm, that would be a total mistake. That is the reason why we are flexible, we are showing that’s the right moment to have the best show in this context.

“I don’t see any problem on that. And if you think actually in terms of timing in Europe, the race time we have on Saturday is 10pm, Saturday night is perfect because also that audience will be connected.

“By the way, we could have done even earlier or later, everyone would have been connected that night with Las Vegas, no doubt.”

The 10pm start will be the latest for F1, surpassing the current 8pm time slot for the night races in Saudi Arabia and Singapore, but those are Sunday night, not a Saturday night.