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The history of F1 in Las Vegas

The Formula 1 and Las Vegas they had a fleeting romance in the 1980s when the competition at the permanent track of Watkins Glen, in the state of N


The and they had a fleeting romance in the 1980s when the competition at the permanent track of Watkins Glen, in the state of New York, was left off the calendar.

The city was different from what it is today. Although there were already large casinos, the imposing constructions of today were still far from being present.

The Formula 1 world championship found one in the parking lot of the famous Caesars Palace hotel, at that time the benchmark for casinos in this land. A temporary circuit was developed there that housed two editions of the Great Circus in 1981 and 1982.

The first edition took place on October 17, 1981 and was the 15th and final race of that season. The track had a length of 3.6 kilometers to which 75 laps of competition were made with the Argentine Carlos Reutemann as the winner of the pole position with a time of 1m17.821s.

The competition was won by Australian Alan Jones who was driving a Williams Ford after starting from second position, while the poleman fell out of the top three positions on the first lap. Alain Prost and Bruno Giacomelli completed the top three positions in a race.

However, one of the main complaints was the high temperatures to which the pilots were exposed.

The second edition was held on September 25, 1982 on the same street layout with temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius.

Frenchman Alain Prost took pole position for a 1-2 Renault with a time of 1m16.356s followed on the front row by Rene Arnoux.

Michele Alboreto took victory in a Tyrrell-Ford after starting from third position with John Watson taking second place in his McLaren. American and local Eddie Cheever finished the podium with his Ligier-Matra.

Once again, Las Vegas will host the Great Circus, but now on a track with greater appeal to the world.