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Red Bull Las Vegas demo run
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The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off

If you thought hosting a grand prix on the streets of the world’s gambling capital would be impossible, prepare to think again. The grandees of Las Vegas can make anything happen – and, as the race promoter reveals to OLEG KARPOV, the magic starts now

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The first attempt to bring Formula 1 to Las Vegas wasn’t a success. A twisty and demanding track in the Caesars Palace car park, combined with the heat, made drivers literally throw up. Just ask Nelson Piquet. On his way to fifth in the 1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, which secured him that year's title, the Brazilian deposited the remnants of his lunch in his cockpit, then struggled to recover for another 15 minutes after the chequered flag.

It wasn’t all bad, of course. “The good part was Caesars Palace itself!” Marc Surer, who took part in both races in Las Vegas in the early 1980s, tells GP Racing. “It was easy: you walk out of the hotel, and you’re in the paddock. It was even possible to go from the paddock directly to the pool. So, after driving, when you were hot, you walked in your overalls to the pool, got changed, and jumped into the water.

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