The first-ever Las Vegas Grand Prix is next up on the F1 calendar, scheduled for 1:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, November 19. The newly-created Las Vegas Street Circuit is anticipated to offer spectacular views of the Strip during the race.
However, there’s one aspect that most didn’t anticipate for this race in the desert: cold weather.
How cold will it get for Las Vegas Grand Prix?
How cold will it actually get? According to Weather.com, Las Vegas will see temperatures around 48º F for this night race.
That wouldn’t make it the coldest F1 race in history, but it’s close. Those honors belong to the 1978 Canadien Grand Prix, which had low temps of 41ºF with some sleet and snow mixed in.
What does potential cold weather mean for Las Vegas Grand Prix?
Temperature changes pose a significant challenge for tires, with even slight drops to colder temps causing reduced air pressure. This is problematic for finely-tuned F1 cars accustomed to warmer racing conditions while maintaining performance during high-speed turns and drives.
The cooler tires could also translate to a lack in grip. This will be a key factor to watch, as it will be intriguing to observe how each driver adapts to this challenge. The main issue comes from keeping the tires warm in these cold conditions with long straights on the course. On top of this, how will the tires perform after a fresh change or when coming out from behind the safety car?
Furthermore, team crews will be diligently monitoring tire performance and strategizing pit stops for tire changes. With a new track and unanticipated cold temperatures, drivers and their crews will likely make several on-the-fly adjustments to adapt to these unique conditions.