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Formula 1 takes over the Sphere for Las Vegas Grand Prix

Specific colors were banned from the Sphere's display during the race for safety reason

Local realtor and drone Michael Bondi caught some good footage

Beginning last week and going through the weekend, Formula 1 racing came to Las Vegas to deliver the first ever ‘Las Vegas Grand Prix.’ In an unprecedented event, the Las Vegas strip was shut down and converted into a Formula 1 course the race. To commemorate the first Formula 1 race in the city in 41 years, as well as the monumental opening of the Sphere this year, Sphere Entertainment partnered with Formula 1 to utilize the Exosphere, the Sphere’s outer display, to celebrate the occasion.

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“We are looking forward to partnering with the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix in the inaugural year both for Sphere and the Grand Prix in Las Vegas,” said Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President Marquee Events and Operations for MSG Entertainment, prior to the event. “This is one of the world’s premier sporting events, and we are ready to showcase Sphere to our global audience via F1 – both in person in Las Vegas and watching around the world – demonstrating the unparalleled technological and creative capabilities of the Exosphere.”

Los Angeles eyes its very own mini-sphere

A rendering of the Grand Prix track (Image: Formula 1)

In addition to showcasing footage of the races, podium celebrations, and the drivers, the Exosphere was used to communicate statistics in real time to the audience, including pole positions. This marks the first time the Sphere was used to help broadcast a live sporting event. Throughout the week, F1 content was on display including driver cards featuring all 20 drivers and their cars in a larger-than-life form, as well as F1 helmets to serve as backdrops for fan photos, and even audience and fan reactions to the race.

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Concerns were raised as to whether the Exosphere could be a dangerous distraction to the drivers racing at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour, as the Sphere is highly visible to drivers on the track. In an effort to keep things as safe as possible, an agreement was made to not use certain colors of yellow, red, or blue on the Sphere, as these are colors that are displayed on light panels on the track’s sides that drivers reference in the heat of the race.

Local realtor and drone pilot got some great footage of the sphere and track.


“We have a long-term relationship with the Sphere, and I think we will have more programming in place,” said Liberty Media (owner of Formula 1) CEO Greg Maffei when asked if Formula 1 would be coming back to the Sphere. “Partly because we didn’t know if the Sphere would be done, and partly we were hustling to get ourselves done, that combination made it hard to program for this year. But I think in future years, we’ll have a lot more going on.”


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