Vasseur: “We have to take Las Vegas as an opportunity” to catch Mercedes in F1 standings

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Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has urged his team to capitalise on the unique opportunity the Las Vegas Grand Prix will provide.

Formula 1 heads to America for the third time this season after trips to Miami and Texas as the championship continues to stamp its authority on the United States.

The Scuderia floundered last time out in Brazil, only salvaging a sixth-place finish through Carlos Sainz, while Charles Leclerc didn’t start the race.

Vasseur warned that Las Vegas will be tricky, but opportunities are there to be had: “For sure, Vegas will be difficult, but I think everybody is anticipating that it will be difficult.

“It will be another night race. It will be, I don’t know what, conditions look to be very, very cold, but it’s a new track with a special layout, and we have to take it as an opportunity to come back in the race.”

The Las Vegas Grand Prix will begin at 10pm local time, amongst what are expected to be unusually cold conditions for a Formula 1 event.

Temperatures are expected to be around 10-15 degrees on race day, which may provide a challenge for Pirelli’s tyres, which have a notoriously narrow working range.

The Las Vegas Strip circuit is incredibly fast and lacks high-speed turns to help the tyres build temperature.

Pirelli has brought the three softest compounds in their range to compensate for the predicted ambient temperature.

Formula 1 has previously struggled to break into the American market and raced in Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace in 1981 and 1982 in an unpopular event.

Vasseur is confident that Las Vegas will succeed despite concerns about cooler conditions.

“No, we have to fully trust them that if you had a look at Miami last year, it went pretty well, at least on the racing side, that the track was well prepared, and I hope that it will be the same in Vegas.”

Ferrari is battling Mercedes for third in the Constructors’ Championship and sits 20 points behind their German rivals with two rounds to go.