Max Verstappen and George Russell have both suggested that the Sphere could be a potentially dangerous and distracting concern for drivers at the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The newly-built 18,600 venue hangs over the temporary street circuit in Sin City and has a huge LED screen capable of displaying remarkable images.
The Sphere and the land around it has been rented out by F1 for the duration of the Grand Prix weekend and may even feature live timings for qualifying and the race. Organisers have agreed not to display red, yellow or blue on the Sphere during sessions in a bid to avoid distracting those on the circuit.
However, some drivers have expressed concerns that the Sphere will be a problem regardless, with Verstappen making his views clear when quizzed on the topic at Thursday’s press conference.
“No, that definitely is a distraction for me,” said the Red Bull ace when it was put to him that likenesses of all 20 drivers will be displayed on the Sphere throughout the weekend. “I might end in the wall so let’s not do that. I hope they put something nice on it.”
Russell, meanwhile, insisted that he was excited for the unknown element of the Las Vegas Grand Prix but alluded to the Sphere as a potential distraction in spite of the measures brought in to prevent red, yellow and blue from being shown on it.
“It’s going to be an interesting one,” he said. “We’ve often got LED lights around us, but never so much in your peripheral. It’s a pretty spectacular building to say the least, I recognise why they’ve banned those three colours. I think with the vastness of that, if I saw a big red ball on there I’d be backing off thinking it was a red flag.
“But I think that’s one of the exciting things about this race is there’s quite a few. We’re going into a bit of unknown territory with bits and pieces.”