Vegas cashed in on Formula 1, but not everyone won

For Formula 1 fans who’ve been vacationing on Mars for the past year or so, a Rolling Stone piece on the Las Vegas Grand Prix may serve some purpose, although they’ll have to read very deep into the very long story to learn who won the race.

At any rate, that information is something of an anti-climax, since Max Verstappen had clinched the F1 championship in October, nearly two months before Verstappen, as expected, took the Vegas event.

In fact, most of the report written by David Hill, entitled “Formula 1 Bet Big on Vegas. Did It Pay Off?”

is Vegas Redux, regurgitated the mountain of published stories that emerged before, during and after the race as part of the media overload. At this point in time, it’s not only anti-climactic, its anti-interesting. And the Formula 1 organization, The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA
), is no longer looking backward, it’s looking ahead: just this week, it announced that this year’s Vegas race will be held on November 23.

So what’s left to fill up reports like this one are the reporter’s impressions, predictable quotes, continuous mentions of money spent and money made, and the little bit of drama—the loose drain cover that damaged Carlos Sainz’ Ferrari during practice—that came out of race weekend. But for those fans now returning to Earth from outer space, perhaps it’s useful.

For newbies to F1, there’s lots of history here, and the obligatory mention of how the “Drive to Survive” docuseries on Netflix

has at last ignited interest in the sport in the United States.

Hill describes the “herculean” task of converting the Vegas Strip into a race track; it’s all old news. And there’s plenty of reactions from the attendees, such as this fatuous get from David Woodley, identified as “the chief revenue officer for BallIsLife, a basketball media company, and an F1 watcher.” “I grew up a big racing fan,” he says. “The guys working on this are like rocket scientists. They could be solving the problems of the world, but they’re out there trying to find an extra 10th of a second,”

There’s some celebrity spotting. “Ryan Reynolds, Rihanna, and A$AP Rocky roam the paddock. Bad Bunny makes a beeline for the hospitality suites.” And Hill reports on the auction

at the Wynn of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 car, bid up to $17 million.

I may be mistaken, but after reading several thousand words of this I could find no mention of the Sphere

by Hill.

He missed the lede.

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