The Las Vegas Grand Prix got off to an embarrassing start after the first practice session on the new circut was cut short after around 10 minutes on Thursday due to a loose drain cover.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz had his vehicle stop after hitting a bump, resulting in a red flag.
And Sainz was not the only victim.
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Esteban Ocon claimed fifth, although Alpine confirmed following FP1 that the Frenchman would undergo a chassis change due to damage from a suspected drain cover on track
“Following inspection, it was the concrete frame around a manhole cover that has failed. We now need to check all of the other manhole covers which will take some time,” the International Motoring Federation (FIA) said in a statement.
“We will be discussing with the local circuit engineering team about the length of time it will take to resolve and will update with any resultant changes to the schedule.”
So F1’s showpiece Las Vegas GP highlights so far…Months of hyping + Marketing by F1⬇️Insane ticket prices, which gets plummeted just before the race weekendBarely 10 minutes of running on track, at least 3 cars damaged by drainage cover (Sainz, Ocon, Zhou)Empty seats… pic.twitter.com/O3eIq17JoJ
— Opinionated Fan (@OpinionatedSF19) November 17, 2023
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A second practice session was scheduled for midnight local time in Vegas and organisers faced a race against time to make the checks and necessary repairs in time.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had posted the fastest lap with a time of 1:40.909.
(with inputs from agencies)