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Why Ferrari must try to win the first-ever F1 Las Vegas GP

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As Charles Leclerc headed to the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Formula 1’s latest venue to enthral fans and drivers alike, he didn’t really have any amazing last few races.  

Unless one is living under a rock, only then can one ignore or underplay the fact that Leclerc, the famed Monegasque, has ensured some horrible recent results. 

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For a supremely capable driver who once denied none other than great Lewis Hamilton a sensational win at Monza, circa 2019, Leclerc has come a long way and promises to go a long mile. 

However, what lies ahead of the famed Monegasque; the driver with a lot of class and composure about him are no fewer than  17 turns, a race length of 3.85 miles and a challenge that’ll entertain as much as it will exhilarate the attendee. 

And what can only be considered a great race start for the Ferrari team, Charles Leclerc – not Carlos Sainz jr.- has fired the opening salvo. 

In taking a sensational pole position at the maiden Las Vegas Grand Prix qualifying, noted Ferrari driver, who’s taken great poles before too, such as at venues like Baku, Mexico City and USA was the top drawer from a crowd perspective. 

Hardly putting a foot wrong, Charles Leclerc competed with carefree abandon managing  on this occasion greater quali speed and a lot of heart and passion to fight against Red Bull and its trump card, Max Verstappen. 

On a day where just about anything could’ve happened- Sainz forced to begin from twelfth on the grid despite bagging originally a fighting second- it is Verstappen who begins his first ever Las Vegas Grand Prix behind a Ferrari. 

Which is why the Vegas race could well be a likely showdown between Leclerc out in the lead and a driver who hunts down the rest of the pack and those ahead of him akin to a shark of the ocean: Verstappen. 

Given it’s a street track, the contest, billed as a mega race event in the American heartland, there are as many challenges about Vegas as there are some notably highs. 

A city where many around the world come to marry and at times, temporarily given the court marriage law option (along with witnesses), the Tifosi will hope that Leclerc and the famed SF-23’s marriage all through the race is a stable and consistent affair. 

What else could anyone who sees racing in the purely passionate colours of red want? What else would Leclerc want other than crossing the checkered line over first in the race and above anyone else’s time. 

But, Sainz’s dip in performance- as seen in the previous 3-4 races- has meant that Verstappen has already snuggled back up to second. 

Leclerc wouldn’t relish that, would he? But then how can one deal easily and truth be told, sans pressure when the challenger is someone who’s been the most successful Red Bull driver since Vettel? 

The three time world champion will only try to make Ferrari’s life more difficult in these next few hours by adding insult to injury as the Dutchman will try his level best to pass Charles Leclerc earlier than imagined. 

But what’ll hurt the prancing horse endlessly at the Las Vegas GP given Sainz’s race weekend has been dulled thanks to a 10 place grid drop (concerning repairs carried on his car with regards to the loose manhole cover incident during free practice) is whether Leclerc fails to demonstrate fight. 

Not that Charles will or cannot put on a show; in the recent past of the pinnacle of the world of single-seater MotorRacing, Verstappen’s dominance has found next to no competitors or rivals. It’s been that cold blooded an assault by the 2023 world champion over the remainder of the grid. 

Even drivers like the great Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez have shown clear struggles ahead of the soon-to-begin mega F1 race. As a matter of factly, Lewis Hamilton couldn’t even make it to the final qualifying round, which made for an unusual sight. 

Other racier and enormously focused drivers as seen during qualifying at Las Vegas hold the key towards what’ll likely be a mega clash for mid field supremacy. 

While the battle in the front, we’ve established will be the ultimate showdown between Charles Leclerc, yet to win in 2023 and Max Verstappen habitual and inveterate winner this year, other promising battles further down the top three slots promise to make it a grand affair. 

How so? 

It’ll likely be a Mercedes v Aston Martin v Williams v Haas battle that seems likely on the cards. 

While the great legend Alonso begins his maiden Vegas challenge from tenth on the grid, there’s such fantastic array of talents who’ve managed to park their cars ahead of the two time world champion. Think Russell, Gasly, Albon, and Sargeant, the latter the only American on the grid insofar. 

But all of that said, what’ll the maiden instalment of the Las Vegas GP bring about? Will Ferrari prove their detractors that they’re not fail-rari, an abominable and avoidable name the Scuderia critics have given the Italian marvel. 

And if not and Max wins, then can the world grow up and accept the fact that should there be a Formula 1 Grand Prix on Uranus and Pluto, Verstappen will likely win that as well. 

For now, it suffices to say that there’s so much to play for at the dazzling city of lights and one where more than the days, there are more colourful nights. 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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