Ziggo Sport analyst Rick Winkelman would rather see another American circuit return to the calendar than Las Vegas. According to the commentator, it would have been better if the FOM had had that circuit renovated à la Zandvoort rather than having to build a completely new circuit in the desert state. Winkelman has the idea that Formula 1 has done everything it can to organize the race in Las Vegas.
Winkelman, who has been involved in the world of motorsports and especially NASCAR for some time, does not have high expectations of the new circuit in the United States. With the arrival of Las Vegas, the United States has no fewer than three Grands Prix, of which the race on The Strip is the last of the three on the 2023 calendar. Last but definitely not least, F1 has gone big by organizing a race in a city that is home to casinos, glitter and over-the-top glamour. Winkelman has nothing to do with that at all. “I would have preferred an existing circuit in the United States,” the Ziggo Sport analyst begins in conversation with the Dutch branch of Motorsport.com.
‘They would have said: you can never organize a race here again! That circuit would have been suitable for F1,” says Winkelman. He believes that an example can be taken from Zandvoort. The historic circuit in the dunes has been completely overhauled to make it suitable for Formula 1. ‘They have built two curves there, and I think that is quite something. They should have done something like that. Had taken Watkins Glen. As a racing fan, I would have preferred if they had dusted off Watkins Glen à la Zandvoort and prepared it for Formula 1,” said Winkelman.
Las Vegas has a hefty price tag: ‘It became ten percent more expensive’
Formula 1 apparently did not like an idea like Winkelman’s. Instead, everything was done to organize a race in Las Vegas. “They cannot afford to fail,” the Ziggo Sports Analyst continues. ‘It has been mentioned so often that it became ten percent more expensive and so much money has already been pumped in. They then add another ten percent, then things can’t go wrong,” says Winkelman, who is still taking a wait-and-see attitude regarding his expectations for the race weekend.