The Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend started with high hopes. However, the excitement didn’t last long. The opening Formula 1 practice session ended after only 9 minutes due to a stoppage for Carlos Sainz. This unexpected twist added a surprise element to the anticipated event. Red flags were raised during the session.
Less than 10 minutes into the one-hour session, Sainz’s Ferrari came to a sudden halt on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit.
Onboard footage revealed a dashboard message reading ”Stop the Car,” prompting immediate concern. Marshals swiftly worked to clear the stricken car, but the clock continued to tick down.
FIA Confirms Drain Cover Issue
In an unexpected turn of events, the session was officially canceled, and the FIA confirmed that they were investigating an issue with a drain cover on the track.
The incident not only disrupted the teams’ plans for the session but also left fans eagerly awaiting the next update on the track conditions.
— Road & Track (@RoadandTrack) November 17, 2023
Leclerc’s Provisional F1 Fast Lap
Before the stoppage, Charles Leclerc, Sainz’s teammate, had set the pace with a provisional fastest lap of 1m 40.909s. At the time, Max Verstappen was in fourth place, with Kevin Magnussen third and Nico Hulkenberg second. Esteban Ocon claimed fifth place.
Impact on Alpine and Ocon
However, the aftermath of FP1 revealed additional consequences for Alpine, as Esteban Ocon’s car suffered damage from a suspected drain cover on the track.
The team confirmed that Ocon would undergo a chassis change, highlighting the unexpected challenges posed by the Las Vegas circuit.
Historical Echo: Azerbaijan 2019 Parallel
Interestingly, this is not the first time a Formula 1 session has been abandoned due to a similar issue. The 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix also saw FP1 canceled after George Russell ran over a loose drain cover, drawing parallels with the recent incident in Las Vegas.
F1 Max Verstappen’s Unease
Adding to the drama surrounding the event, world champion Max Verstappen expressed his discontent with the circus surrounding Formula 1′s 40-year return to Sin City. The historic 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix is off to a rocky start, with the first practice session canceled and the second practice delayed for two hours for rapid repairs.
The Second Las Vegas Practice Delayed
The start of the second Free Practice for the Las Vegas Grand Prix is delayed due to drain incidents in the first practice session. Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon faced chassis losses after hitting loose drain covers early in FP1. The session was abandoned just eight minutes into on-track running.
Track inspections are ongoing, with officials examining drains around the 3.8-mile circuit, the second-longest on the calendar. The exact start time and potential extension of the delayed session remain unclear.
F1 has access to the track until 04:00 local time, after which it must be returned to Las Vegas residents.
— RacingNews365.com (@Racingnews365C) November 17, 2023
The session was cut short due to a stoppage caused by Carlos Sainz. His Ferrari came to a sudden halt on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit less than 9 minutes into the one-hour session, prompting red flags.
Sainz’s car experienced an unexpected issue, as indicated by a ‘Stop the Car’ message on the dashboard. Marshals worked swiftly to clear the stricken car, but the session was ultimately canceled, adding a surprise element to the event.
The FIA confirmed the cancellation due to an investigation into a drain cover issue on the track. This unexpected turn disrupted teams’ plans and left fans eagerly awaiting updates on the track conditions.
Charles Leclerc, Sainz’s teammate, set the provisional fastest lap of 1m 40.909s before the stoppage. At that point, Nico Hulkenberg was in second, followed by Kevin Magnussen, Max Verstappen, and Esteban Ocon in third, fourth, and fifth places, respectively.
The aftermath revealed damage to Esteban Ocon’s car from a suspected drain cover, leading to a chassis change. This highlighted the unexpected challenges posed by the Las Vegas circuit for Alpine and Ocon.
Yes, there is a historical parallel with the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where FP1 was also canceled after George Russell ran over a loose drain cover, drawing parallels with the recent incident in Las Vegas.
The second practice session was delayed for two hours for rapid repairs following the issues encountered during the first practice session. This aimed to ensure the safety and proper functioning of the track for the continuation of the Grand Prix weekend.
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