The first practice session at the Las Vegas Grand Prix was called off after unsafe track conditions wrecked two cars. The action was cut short when Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari suffered damage and he was forced to stop.
Sainz had to pull over on the Strip due to a problem with his car. He hit something on the track which killed his engine, leading to a red flag and the session being stopped.
FIA officials soon confirmed that a drain hole cover caused the damage. The session was cancelled to investigate and fix the issue, with 40 minutes still left.
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu also seemed to have some damage to his car. Esteban Ocon’s Alpine was so badly damaged by the track that the team had to change his chassis.
The FIA released a statement saying they “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.”
It’s been a tough start for Formula 1 as ticket prices dropped before the event. F1 owners Liberty Media are believed to have spent around $500 million to bring a Grand Prix to Las Vegas.
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen has admitted he’s not a fan of the glitzy driver introduction ceremony held on Wednesday night. He referred to the Las Vegas race as “99 percent show and one percent sporting event”.
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He told reporters: “For me, you can skip all these things. It’s not about the singer, it’s just standing up there, you look like a clown.
“I’m not going to fake it. I just always voiced my opinion in positive things and negative things. And that’s just how I am. And some people like a show a bit more. I don’t like it at all.
“I grew up just looking at the performance side of things, and that’s how I see it as well. So for me, I like to be in Vegas but not so much for racing.”
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