First F1 Vegas Grand Prix Practice Cancelled Due to Open Drain in Road: Just Unacceptable
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz stopped after hitting a loose drain cover at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, causing the cancellation of practice.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix faced an unexpected setback when a loose drain cover caused the cancellation of the event's first practice session. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz stopped on the strip after running over the loose drain cover, prompting a red flag less than 10 minutes into the practice session. An FIA inspection found that a concrete frame around a manhole cover had failed during FP1, and checks were initiated on all other covers across the circuit.
The inspection revealed that a single water valve cover on the Las Vegas Grand Prix circuit had failed during the first practice session. The FIA, F1, and local circuit engineering teams are actively working to review and address the issue, emphasizing the safety and security of drivers, fans, and staff. Extra precautions were taken to ensure the integrity of the track before the resumption of racing, leading to a significant delay in the race schedule.
Due to logistical concerns and the safety of fans and employees, the fan zones were closed prior to the beginning of Free Practice 2. Sainz received a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday's Grand Prix after having to change key parts of his vehicle, and his teammate Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets during the extended second free practice. Ferrari principal Frédéric Vasseur expressed that the situation was unacceptable, emphasizing the damage caused to Sainz's car and the impact on other drivers, such as Alpine's Esteban Ocon. Despite the challenges, the Las Vegas Grand Prix looks forward to providing a safe and entertaining race weekend for all.