Alonso worried by ‘danger factor’ of Las Vegas

Fernando Alonso feels there is a danger to the Las Vegas circuit that needs addressing

Fernando Alonso feels there is a danger to the Las Vegas circuit that needs addressing. Image: Charles Coates/XPB

Fernando Alonso feels there is “a danger factor” to the Las Vegas Grand Prix circuit he feels needs to be addressed ahead of its second event late next year.

Alonso managed to finish ninth in his Aston Martin at the end of the 50-lap race which he thought “was over” at the first corner when he lost his car under braking, spun, and was left facing the wrong way before being bumped by Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo.

The two-time F1 champion naturally declared himself “happy” to see the chequered flag and at least score two points but he has concerns about the low grip of the track, in tandem with the cooler conditions, going forward into future events.

Race-day temperatures in the mid-teens were far higher than the single-digits Celsius that had been expected, although next year the grand prix is a fortnight later on the schedule.

Reflecting on the race, Alonso said: “It was okay. The only thing was the level of grip, which is extremely low. I know it’s the same for everybody but on a street circuit sometimes there is a danger factor.

“It seemed like we were running in half-dry, half-wet conditions, and on a street circuit, it’s a little bit strange.

“It is not much fun to drive on this kind of circuit, at this speed, 360 kilometres an hour with no grip, no visibility, bouncing like hell, and these kinds of things.

“I know the show from the outside may look good, but these cars are not made to go through corners at 80kph.

“These cars are made to go in Suzuka, Barcelona, at Silverstone, and to maximise Formula 1’s potential.

“So we need to balance the championship, balance the calendar. I think that’s what we are doing, but I don’t think this is the only way to go.

“We need to keep some traditional races as well, where a Formula 1 car can shine.”

Despite the track conditions, Alonso still felt the race “was fun inside the car”.

As a racing spectacle, a relatively boring, nondescript track lived up to the pre-race hype, and predictions from many that it would lend itself to good overtaking.

Alonso feels that whilst the event overall delivered at its first attempt, he is anticipating considerable improvements going into next season.

“There were a couple of nice battles,” said Alonso. “But as I said, the level of grip and the temperatures put the tyres under a lot of stress, (there was) a lot of graining, so maybe going into next year we can improve things because we will learn from this season.

“But the race was good, well organised. Maybe the timings were a little bit late for the mechanics, for you guys, the media, for drivers, for everyone.

“I think year two will be much better. It happened in Miami as well, a big difference between year one and year two.

“There are things to improve but overall, it was a nice event.”

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