Ferrari team member Jason Beesley has criticised facilities at the Las Vegas Grand Prix track saying driving conditions are “just unacceptable” and not fit for racing. Beesley said practice was cancelled for the day after drivers found themselves diverted from the race track following the first chicane and into a drive-thru casino where they were forced to play roulette, blackjack and baccarat before being allowed to continue with their practice lap.
Having made their way through the drive-thru casino the drivers were then guided across the track where a makeshift ticket box-office had been set up, offering tickets to see Barry Manilow and Engelbert Humperdink at the Westgate Vegas Resort and Hotel Auditorium. Race organisers also promised a race-day special when Depeche Mode lead singer David Gahan will be on hand to sign autographs for the drivers and sing tracks from the band’s forthcoming album.
Drivers were also given free donuts, milkshakes and a sweatshirt advertising Barney’s Burger Bar on Tropicana Avenue. A drive-through penalty was awarded to any driver that failed to eat a whole donut before joining the race without stopping. A spokesperson for governing body FIA admitted certain concessions had been made with track owners Taking Liberty and a few minor additions to the race schedule had been agreed but they did not think it would detract from the race-day experience.
Track owners say they are in talks with F1 bosses concerning the new track layout. “Safety is paramount at any F1 track and we think the slight alterations are in line with organisers safety standards…..although we thought it was a bit harsh they did not allow The Rat Pack to be stewards and race track officials for this one-off race. Dino was going to wave the chequered flag while drinking a martini, smoking a Marlborough and singing 'That's Amore' to the winner of the Vegas race....you won't get that at any other F1 race track. Their loss"