Fernando Alonso believes that no two laps will feel the same for F1 drivers as the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend will feature a different track surface with grip. While the strip itself has been resurfaced ahead of Grand Prix racing’s return to Sin City, other sections of the track consist of public roads. F1 sessions run for more than six hours after sunset, so the roads are open to the public all day.
This has the knock-on effect of lower temperatures, making it harder for heat to build up inside the tire. Add in the 1.2-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip, low downforce settings, and heavy braking zones, and it’s a tricky combination. With no F1 support series in Las Vegas, Alonso believes the evolution of the track will be huge. “It’s a street circuit, there’s less downforce, so it’s going to be very important to give the car confidence in the braking area,” Alonso told the media. “I think the amount of track evolution over the weekend will be greater than usual because of the track conditions and the lack of support races. “So it’s going to be a challenge for everyone and no two laps will be the same over the weekend. “From FP1 to the last lap of the race, each lap on the track is a little bit better than the previous one, so you have to adapt to that variable grip. It’s going to be a challenge for everyone,” Alonso said. This is Aston Martin’s second time on the podium since the summer break, having finished third at the last race in Sao Paulo. However, Alonso has been exposed to weaknesses with the AMR23 package all season at tracks similar to Monza, so he doesn’t expect a repeat this weekend. “Here and Abu Dhabi will be as important races as São Paulo in terms of understanding the car, and although Austin and Mexico were very tough, it will be very beneficial for the team in terms of understanding next year’s car. “It was,” Alonso said. “So we’ll see how it goes here. I think it’s going to be a tough weekend for us, long straights and all.”