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Drivers call for F1's Las Vegas race to move away from Abu Dhabi finale

Several Formula 1 drivers have led calls to decouple the Las Vegas Grand Prix from Middle East races as the double-header with Abu Dhabi is set to become a triple-header.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

F1's inaugural race around the Strip's casinos provided an enthralling spectacle on Saturday night, vindicating the series' decision to chase a race in the gambling capital.
While drivers and teams were all pleased with how the event was run, the punishing schedule was one outstanding piece of feedback.
As teams travelled eight timezones west to then work on what was effectively the Japanese Grand Prix's schedule, several team bosses are hoping the race's timetable can be brought forward by a few hours next year.
F1 personnel's fatigue will only be compounded by a double-header with Abu Dhabi, which will involve a long journey with a shift of 12 timezones to the east.
AlphaTauri's Daniel Ricciardo was shocked to learn that next year the Vegas race will be the start of a triple-header, with a race in Qatar squeezed in between the American contest and Abu Dhabi's season finale, and the Australian is calling for that to be changed in the future.
When told it was a triple-header he said: "What!? No way!
"Yeah, that does not have my vote. And now, knowing that, they need to bring it forward, because we will be wrecked, especially end of the season.
"I've done like six races, and I already feel it, so hopefully they can make something work.
Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

"After Thursday, after that late [FP2] session, I feel like probably all of us have been a little bit delirious and hallucinating, so it felt like a bit of a whirlwind since then."
Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who clinched his 18th win of the season last weekend, agreed that a new date for Las Vegas would be a plus, and suggested twinning it with another race in North America.
"At the moment it's such a big time shift that, especially at the end of the season when everyone is already a bit tired, I think it's a little bit much," he added in reference to the onward trip to Abu Dhabi.
"So, maybe it would be ideal to find a different kind of date because I find that maybe we need to do more of an American tour.
"Of course, for ticket sales I don't know if that's ideal, so maybe we can find a bit of a solution there. 
"I think the 12-hour timezone shifts and also completely different timings for racing, I find that a bit much."
Podium: Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, second place Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Francesco Laus, Senior Tyre Simulation Engineer Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Erik Junius

Podium: Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, second place Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Francesco Laus, Senior Tyre Simulation Engineer Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

His team-mate Sergio Perez backed Vegas becoming the season finale in the future.
"I think it was a great first event but, like Max says, just to think about that we have to go now to Abu Dhabi, probably the longest distance that we have to travel the whole year," Perez said.
"So yeah, probably look at it and make Vegas the final race."
Additional reporting by Adam Cooper

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