Toto Wolff slaps Mercedes staff with Las Vegas GP ban as F1 takes to Sin City

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has placed a gambling ban on his team ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix this weekend, insisting that trips to the casino will not be allowed despite the glitz and allure of the iconic city.

This will be the first F1 race held in the city since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix and the first ever to be held on the actual streets of Las Vegas. Drivers will race down the legendary Strip, watched on by a star-studded crowd in one of the most glamorous cities in the world. 

Sunday’s race looks set to pose a unique challenge to the teams and drivers with extremely cold track temperatures predicted due to the time at which the race has been scheduled. This could cause tyre warm-up problems which will make the race even more treacherous, given the tight walls that surround the street circuit.

Speaking to Spain about F1’s return to Sin City, Wolff explained: “I think everyone is looking forward to the Las Vegas race. Racing in this city is comparable to climbing Everest, hats off to Liberty Media for organising this race. 

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“I don’t think I’m the only one in Formula One who has never been to this city, which is quite difficult to get around. We don’t know how to get from the hotel to the circuit and back, but I’m sure we’ll find a solution. I’m looking forward to the race.”

Wolff was then asked whether or not there would be any trips to the casino, to which he replied: “As I said, I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but we’ll do our best to make sure everyone in the team stays away from the casinos – I don’t gamble and I’ll make sure no one else gambles either!”

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Unfortunately for Wolff, his team heads into the weekend with a point to prove following Mercedes’ worst weekend of the season last time out at Interlagos. Lewis Hamilton could only manage a P8 finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix, while team-mate George Russell retired with an engine cooling problem. 

Such a poor result in Sao Paulo means that the Silver Arrows hold a lead of just 20 points over Ferrari heading into the final two rounds of the season as they fight to hold onto P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.

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