The Ultimate Guide to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas
Rev your engines and bring your appetite. There's a lot of stuff happening during Race Week, and some of it's actually affordable.
Rev your engines and bring your appetite. There's a lot of stuff happening during Race Week, and some of it's actually affordable.
First, it was construction, and then it was traffic. Then, Las Vegas locals really got mad when the trees in front of the Bellagio fountains were removed to clear space for grandstands. For what it's worth, MGM Resorts swears they're coming back. We've also seen Strip attractions like the Mirage volcano and Venetian gondolas temporarily pause operations, making the Las Vegas Strip look, well, a lot less like the Las Vegas Strip.
Now, it's time to crawl across the finish line. The prep is almost over. The Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix is coming to Las Vegas for the first of 10 annual appearances. Are the headaches and hassle worth it? We'll see. But it's time to accept the situation, learn to stop worrying, and love F1.
Everyone familiar with this stuff says the same thing: The first year is a "breaking in" process. It will get easier from here. (We can only hope.) So, as we figure this out together, bring some patience and arrive early. Earplugs might be a good idea, too. These cars are loud. Beyond the Grand Prix itself, there are many race-related events, attractions, dinners, and other cool stuff going on around town. If Austin can pull it off, Vegas can, too. Here's your guide to F1 in Las Vegas and everything you need to know about the biggest race event in Sin City history.
The lay of the land
If you're traveling from out of town, be prepared and don't rush. Harry Reid International Airport is already laying out guidelines for Race Week, warning travelers to give themselves extra time when coming and going (and if you get stuck in a terminal for a while, there's plenty to eat). High rollers will be flying private all week long, while JSX (which is kind of like a semi-private hybrid model) has flights to Vegas beginning at $300 without the hassle and long lines of a public airport.
Formula 1 officially runs four days, with the opening ceremonies taking place on November 15, two late nights of practice running from November 16 to 17, and the Grand Prix itself occurring on November 18 at 10 pm. The track runs 3.8 miles on Vegas streets, beginning and ending at the newly built 300,000-square-foot pit building and paddock east of the Strip on the corner of Harmon and Koval. From there, competitors will zip down Koval, around the Sphere, and on Sands before turning on Las Vegas Boulevard with speeds reaching around 212 miles-per-hour on the straightaway and returning to Harmon. The full race is 50 laps.
Parking will be limited and expensive. Rideshare services have designated pickup and dropoff locations near the Hughes Center and Virgin Hotels. Getting to central Strip properties like the Cromwell, Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, and maybe even the Venetian could depend on access via a temporary vehicle bridge on Flamingo that crosses the track on Koval. You'll need to show proof of tickets or a room reservation while the track is hot (that's race lingo for "in use").
Prepare for a lot of walking. Pedestrians can use temporary bridges at Flamingo and Koval (next to the vehicle bridge) and on Rochelle near the Sphere. Regular pedestrian bridges over the Strip will be open as usual, although F1 is doing its best to discourage you from trying to watch the race from there.
Watching the race in person
At first glance, watching the race is an experience for the one percent—and that's the core idea—but if you know anything about "Vegas prices," you know they fluctuate. (Just visit a hotel lobby shop, where the cost of items often isn't posted.) Just like a residency or Cirque production, Formula 1 is the latest example of entertainment in Las Vegas—and there are ways to get deals on tickets, including potential discounts on the resale market.
General admission near the Sphere is sold out. Currently, Grandstand tickets remain available near the Sphere, Mirage, and Virgin Hotels/pit building with food (some of it by Wolfgang Puck catering), water, and soft drinks included.
You can take things up a notch with one of 10 Premium Clubs, and this is the part where having the F1 in Vegas starts to become fun. The Bellagio Fountain Club is a ridiculously indulgent experience, built on the edge of the resort's iconic lake facing the Strip. Watch the race on one side with the Bellagio fountains on the other, while food is prepared by culinary titans like José Andrés, Alain Ducasse, Masaharu Morimoto, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and more on a rotating basis, beginning at 6 pm all three nights.
Sports Illustrated presents Club SI in front of the Flamingo, featuring celebrity guests Dax Shepard (hosting a live podcast on November 16), Brooks Nader and Nicole Williams English (for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Party on November 17), and Shaquille O'Neal and David Beckham during the Saturday night Grand Prix on November 18. Food ranges from a raw seafood bar, charcuterie, and hors d'oeuvres to entrees like prime tenderloin sliced to order and whole fish fileted on the spot.
Club Paris has views of the track from the open-air rooftop terraces at Beer Park and the newly opened Cheri nightclub inside the Paris casino. Guests will be able to roam between both venues and Alexxa's restaurant downstairs for a variety of food and drinks.
The pit building hosts a trio of five-day Luxury Experiences: the Paddock Club, Wynn Grid Club, and Catch Garage. The latter takes over a race car garage for a loaded lineup of Catch favorites, including sushi, sashimi, an A5 Japanese Wagyu station, and a raw seafood bar with access to the Club Paddock rooftop deck for 360-degree views of the track.
Restaurants, bars, and clubs with race views
A few viewing options aren't directly under the F1 umbrella but are approved as "Official Venues of the Las Vegas Strip Circuit." Don't worry if it's hard to tell the difference. Just know you have options and can pick an experience that provides the best bang for your buck.
VISTA Las Vegas takes over Drai's Nightclub with views of the track from the rooftop deck of The Cromwell hotel. The 11-story sightlines are spectacular, with plenty of televisions throughout the venue to catch every minute of the race. The event is hosted by Mark Wahlberg and the McLaren Formula 1 team with all-inclusive food and drink, entertainment, and live commentary by former F1 competitor David Coulthard. You can even splurge for your own poolside bungalow or cabana.
Gilley's at Treasure Island, a fun spot known for country music and BBQ, will open the windows for views of the race from just 30 feet away. Admission includes access to food stations, a cash bar, and earplugs! Ellis Island will have its own grandstands in view of Koval, with food and soft drinks included. You can also opt for the Beer Garden with access to an observation deck and TVs throughout the venue, as well as food, soft drinks, and Ellis Island's own beer.
A few of our favorite restaurants are making the most of their respective locations with built-in views of the race. Sushi Roku is teaming up with LA sister concept BOA Steakhouse for an Off Grid Suite party, featuring delicious Japanese cuisine, fresh slices of beef, and views of Las Vegas Boulevard from the third floor of the Forum Shops via open windows.
The outdoor patio of Mon Ami Gabi at Paris is taking advantage of its patio and glass-enclosed pavilion, which happen to be right next to the race cars speeding by on the Strip. Views aren't guaranteed for all seats, but TVs will be set up to catch the action with food that includes pasta, seafood, raw bar items, and more, with upgrades for Champagne Collet, tableside caviar, and Hyogo Prefecture Wagyu beef.
For a sky-high view of the race, head to the Top of the World on the 106th floor of The Strat tower. A four-course "Circuit Tour" menu honors the international scope of Formula 1, featuring bolinho de bacalhau (cod fritters with spicy black bean sauce), bouillabaisse with mixed seafood, braised beef cheek with spicy potatoes, and a chocolate-raspberry cake dessert.
The Taco Bell Cantina isn't just a great place to get hitched on the Vegas Strip. It's also got prime views of the track during the tight turn between Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon. Munch on tacos, sip on drinks from a Heineken Bar, and catch the action during a Tight Turns & Taco Party, with all ticket revenue going toward the Taco Bell Foundation for scholarships.
Having a drink on the 550-foot-tall High Roller wheel at the LINQ is an all-time great bucket-list activity in Las Vegas. Take a ride and check out the track November 16-18 with standard tickets or adult happy hour tickets with a bartender included. A Wheel & Fuel ticket on Race Night, beginning at 8 pm, is $92.25 for a single ride or $181.82 for unlimited rides with access to an open bar until 2 am.
Take a Race Day Pass to the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck on November 18. You'll have unlimited access between 8 pm and 2 am to check out the Grand Prix track from 460 feet above the Strip with a cash bar.
Allē Lounge on 66 has great views of the Strip from the top of Resorts World, making it a perfect spot for the ultimate F1 after-party. Turn 66 runs from midnight to 6 am November 17 to 18 with a lineup of guest DJs, including DJ Pee .Wee (the alter-ego of Anderson .Paak), performing an all-vinyl set. Email Corso Marketing Group for table reservations and guest list inquiries.
Off-track watch parties
You don't need a view of the track to enjoy the race. Television is a great invention, after all. Take a dip in a heated pool at Stadium Swim on the rooftop deck at Circa and catch the action on the 143-foot video wall. You can bet the best sports bars in Vegas will be showing the Grand Prix, but Flanker seems especially fun, throwing a late-night pizza party with the race on more than 50 TVs. Topgolf is right next to the track, allowing you to hear the engines rev in person, even if you can't see them. Book a driving bay and hit a few golf balls while enjoying the F1 action on more than 300 TV screens. Flight Club at the Grand Canal Shoppes allows you to shoot darts during viewing parties all three nights with open bar packages that include cheese flights, sliders, flatbreads, cookie towers, and other bites. Mas Por Favor in Chinatown has tacos, tequila, themed cocktails, F1 action on TV, and race car simulators with gift card prizes for competitors who sign up all week long (November 13–19).
Race Week booze and bites
Unsurprisingly, some of your favorite celebrity chefs and personalities are in town for tempting meals and dining events during Race Week. Join Gordon Ramsay for a hosted three-course menu with wine or cocktail pairing at Ramsay's Kitchen inside Harrah's on November 16 at 5 pm or a four-course trackside dinner at Hell's Kitchen at Caesars Palace with wine or cocktail pairing on November 17 at 7 pm.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa leads a sushi demonstration at Nobu Caesars Palace on November 17 and Nobu Paris on November 18 with guests invited to enjoy the fresh sushi and other dishes with cocktails. Both events begin at 1 pm.
Lisa Vanderpump, fresh off BravoCon in Vegas, will host a Very Vanderpump Brunch with the reality star's own rosé at Vanderpump à Paris on November 17 at 11 am. Giada De Laurentiis is hosting a brunch of her own the day after the race, featuring Italian-inspired cuisine at Giada inside The Cromwell hotel on November 19 at 11 am.
Chef Todd English leads the kitchen team at the Culinary Kickoff Grand Prix at Allegiant Stadium on November 16, from 7 to 11 pm, with live entertainment and appearances by NFL greats, including Charles Woodson, whose Woodson Whiskey and Intercept Wines will be featured.
The Patisserie at Aria is turning into the Patisserie Pit Stop during Race Week. Shop for your favorite artisan sweets and snap a photo of a candy race car that's nearly the size of the real thing. The whole thing took 275 hours to make, featuring 12 pounds of candy gems, 40 pounds of champagne gumdrops, 150 pounds of poured sugar rocks, 40 pounds of hand-piped royal icing, 60 pounds of rolled fondant and 100 pounds of black licorice twists.
Dinner at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway sounds pretty good, too. Chase Sapphire is giving cardholders access to a one-night-only meal at the race track by "Billionaire Chef" Tolu Eros, whose West African heritage influences his recipes, with an open bar, driving experiences, and an appearance by Michael B. Jordan.
Other acclaimed chefs with special dinners include Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who teams up with Yamazaki Japanese whisky for a pairing dinner at Jean Georges Steakhouse at the Aria on November 17 at 7 pm and Hundred Acres wine at Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio from November 16to 18. Marco Carbone will present an Italian feast with Louis XIII cognac and Rémy Martin cocktails at Carbone on November 16 at 7 pm, while Masaharu Morimoto returns to Morimoto for a special omakase dinner from November 16 to 18. New York chef James Kent takes over the kitchen at Le Cirque for a special menu paired with Bénédicte Hardy on November 17.
Then again, sometimes you just want tacos. Pink Taco (a familiar sight at the old Hard Rock) returns to Las Vegas as part of the ZCG & Scuderia Ferrari Fan Zone Block Party, just east of the track at the Silver Sevens from November 15 to 18 with big screens to watch the race, driving simulators, and other pop-up fun.
Top picks at Resorts World include an all-you-can-eat buffet at Genting Palace, featuring dim sum and other Cantonese dishes from 11 am to 2 pm, and a plant-based brunch at Crossroads Kitchen from 10 am to 2 pm. Both events run from November 18 to 19.
The Patisserie at Aria is turning into the Patisserie Pit Stop during Race Week. Shop for your favorite artisan sweets and snap a photo of a candy race car that's nearly the size of the real thing. The whole thing took 275 hours to make, featuring 12 pounds of candy gems, 40 pounds of champagne gumdrops, 150 pounds of poured sugar rocks, 40 pounds of hand-piped royal icing, 60 pounds of rolled fondant, and 100 pounds of black licorice twists.
Race Week entertainment
It's a big week for entertainment connected to Formula 1 in Las Vegas. Everything officially kicks off with the opening ceremony on November 15 at 7:30 pm, featuring performances by Keith Urban, Journey, John Legend, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and more in front of fans at the Wynn Grid Club, Paddock Club, Skybox, and Heineken Silver Main Grandstands. You'll see additional performances over the next few days in the T-Mobile Zone outside the Sphere (and who doesn't love the Sphere?) by the likes of Major Lazer, J Balvin, Nile Rodgers & Chic, and Kylie Minogue, who's also the featured entertainment for the Amber Lounge after-party as part of her newly launched residency at Voltaire inside the Venetian.
One Night for One Drop, the annual fundraiser for Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté's foundation to promote clean drinking water around the world, is going all out on November 15 at Marquee inside the Cosmopolitan. The gala includes lots of food and drink with entertainment by Neon Trees, Steve Aoki, and Robert "Kool" Bell of Kool & The Gang. The event is chaired by retired Formula 1 racing champ Sir Jackie Steward and includes opportunities to bid on high-end travel experiences.
Spiegelworld (the company behind Absinthe, Atomic Saloon, and OPM) debuts Lights Out! inside Superfrico at the Cosmopolitan. The show, based on a racing theme, is on November 15 at 11 pm (with a hint of more dates to come) with a minimum food and drink spend of $100.
Spirits to remember F1
When the Grand Prix is finally over, the winner won't be sprayed with celebratory champagne. It will be Ferrari Trento, the official sparkling wine of all Formula 1 Grand Prix events. Race fans can take a limited-edition Las Vegas bottle home for themselves by visiting Total Wine or going online. Volcan de mi Tierra is the official tequila partner of Formula 1 in Las Vegas, with the agave spirit featured in cocktails at the Paddock Club. A limited-edition Volcan X.A. inspired by Vegas makes for a great gift, especially if you want to brag about being at F1. Pick a bottle up at Total Wine, Liquor Library, or online. Belvedere is the official vodka of F1 in Las Vegas with a special-edition bottle available online and at retailers throughout the valley. If you prefer the brown stuff, WhistlePig and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are joining up for a special-edition rye, finished with lychee and oolong tea in honor of Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver. The Limited Edition Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is available online and at various stores.
The Wynn is hosting a Louis XIII cognac pop-boutique that's open to the general public from November 8 to 28 (next to the McLaren Experience, which just opened in time for F1). It's the only place to get the latest rare cask (with private appointments available online to learn more). The Wynn is also welcoming Whisky on Wheels by the same team behind the long-running Universal Whisky Experience. Choose between a four-day Echelon package with hotel stay, access to tasting events, and Sphere grandstand tickets or an Acceleration package for a one-day lounge experience with fine spirits, champagne, cocktails, and cigars.