LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – While F1 leaders said they would 100% be ready to race before the green flag drops, they technically cannot be until just hours before each race day.
For example, the cement mixers leaving the pit building Monday morning, and work is still churning behind the scenes across the over 10 areas where towering grandstands are expected to seat 105,000 spectators.
A glance at the Bellagio grandstands or pit will reveal crew members in bright green vests crawling up and down them while cleaning windows, Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP) CEO Renee Wilm calls this work the “finishing touches,” and instead points to repaving and temporary structure installation – like three vehicular bridges and nearly four miles of lighting and grandstands – now long in the rear-view mirror.
“From a structural and construction perspective, we’re done,” Wilm said inside the Paddock
While the track may feel incomplete, it’s because it is. 45 access points along the circuit
and adjacent businesses remain open to public traffic each day before being closed off each
It’s because, as LVGP Project Manager Terry Miller told Clark County Commissioners last
week, the track is not scheduled to be fully secured until 7:00 p.m. each night in an
effort to keep local traffic flowing throughout the day.
“Starting at 5:00, we start to close those 45 openings,” Miller said, addressing the board’s
questions about daily closures.
Concrete barriers and chain-link fencing remain staged next to these openings until then.
Miller says over 200 personnel on the streets will be on standby each night to close these
access points and redirect traffic in under two hours Thursday through Saturday.
But, the biggest unknown: Will the track work for the exotic sports cars that arrived via
cargo in recent weeks?
While there’s no skepticism from F1 officials or Clark County leaders,
the entire track is closed and checked for safety for the first time late Wednesday night
into Thursday morning, or less than 24 hours before the first scheduled racing event on
“Basically, we’re going around and making sure from an FIA, F1 standpoint, that the track is
secure and ready for the drivers to actually be on the surface,” Miller said, discussing the
scheduled Wednesday night closure.
Clark County Public Works confirmed that they issued F1 the permit required to close down
the streets for each racing event last Thursday, or about one week prior to the first event.