Jones backs potential F1 return to Las Vegas
Alan Jones believes further expansion into the American market amid talks of a return to Las Vegas would be a good move for Formula 1.
Las Vegas has been targetted as a future addition to the F1 calendar, with Bernie Ecclestone claiming that a contact is in place with organisers to host a race in the gambling mecca.
Ecclestone revealed in Bahrain that he is due to hold further talks with organisers, hinting that Las Vegas could join the calendar in 2018.
While the event’s full details are yet-to-be disclosed, he suggested the race could replace the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which faces an uncertain future.
Las Vegas previously hosted F1 in 1981 and 1982 with a race run on a temporary street circuit constructed in the parking lot of the Caesars Palace casino before dwindling crowds saw its demise.
The 1980 world champion Jones, who contested both events winning the inaugural race for Williams, believes the city would be a solid host for F1.
“I think it would be a good move for Formula 1,” Jones told Speedcafe.com.
“It is the glitter capital of the world and I think it could showcase Formula 1 as good as anywhere. I personally really enjoyed racing there.
“As a circuit it was a bit ‘Mickey Mouse’ as it was in the car park but all the surroundings and the atmosphere was really good.
“I think it is logical. It is a huge market with a lot of expendable capital. There used to be an east coast race and a west coast race but that stopped. (But) America can quite easily afford two races.”
Following the collapse of the F1 event, CART utilised the venue for two races from 1983-1984.
In 2007 open-wheel racing returned to the Las Vegas streets when Champ Car staged a one-off event on a 3.93km circuit near the Fremont street area, which was won by Toowoomba ace Will Power.