Christian Horner has suggested that there are “lessons to learn” from Formula 1’s return to Las Vegas after describing the Sin City schedule as “brutal”.
Red Bull enjoyed a successful weekend in Nevada, with Max Verstappen fighting back to secure a thrilling 18th win of the season.
A glamorous occasion marked F1’s first race in Las Vegas in more than three decades as the sport sought to capitalise on a popularity boom in the United States with a third date on the calendar.
But not all ran smoothly – second practice was delayed into the very early hours of Friday morning after a loose manhole cover forced the cancellation of the first session on the street circuit, while a race start time of 10pm local time also proved unpopular.
And while recognising a need to satisfy global audiences with suitable start times, Horner believes that the schedule should be reconsidered ahead of next season’s grand prix.
“There are going to be many lessons to learn,” the Red Bull team principal explained. “One of the things to look at is the running schedule because it has been brutal for the team and all the men and women behind the scenes.
“Everybody is leaving Vegas slightly f*****! One way or another it has been a brutal weekend for everyone behind the scenes, and I think we need to look at how we can improve that for the future.
“I think run it a little earlier in the evening because you are never going to keep every television audience totally happy. This is an American race. If you run it 8pm in the evening or something like that it would just be a bit more comfortable for the men and women working behind the scenes.”
Verstappen’s victory was one of his best of a season that the Dutchman has dominated.
The Red Bull driver beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and teammate Sergio Perez in a captivating three-way fight for first as a much-anticipated event delivered thrills on and off the track.
F1 and Las Vegas have signed a ten-year deal in the hope of establishing the city as a perpetual location for the motorsport, but Frederic Vasseur, Leclerc’s team principal at Ferrari, agrees with Horner that the timings require a rethink.
“If we have to improve, it’s perhaps the timing,” Vasseur told Motorsport.com.
““It’s not an easy one to find, if you want to have a decent timing for Asia, Europe, East Coast, West Coast.
“In the past, we had no issue because F1 was just for the European people, and we had to stick to the European timing, and it was okay.
“Now it’s a worldwide project, and it’s much more difficult to find something fitting with the expectations of the 24-hour zone. But we will adjust it.”
The Formula 1 season concludes in Abu Dhabi this weekend.