F1 Strives for Recovery After Las Vegas Grand Prix’s Disappointing Start

by Joshua Brown
Las Vegas Grand Prix Incident

The prestigious Formula One is seeking a turnaround on the Las Vegas Strip, much like numerous visitors who find themselves trying to recover from initial losses.

Having invested a substantial $500 million in a brand-new Las Vegas event, co-promoted by Formula One and its parent company, Liberty Media, the series now faces the challenge of overcoming a problematic first day. The initial practice session was marred by an incident just nine minutes in, involving Carlos Sainz Jr. who collided with a water valve cover on the temporary street circuit.

Williams team principal James Vowles urged the public to reserve their judgment until the conclusion of the race on Saturday, following the mishap which extensively damaged the undercarriage of Sainz’s Ferrari and even impacted his seat.

The opening practice was limited to a mere nine minutes on Thursday night. Subsequently, the next session was delayed by 2.5 hours until 2:30 a.m., with fans being removed from viewing areas. This session ran until 4 a.m., ahead of street reopening for morning commuters.

F1 President Stefano Domenicali and Renee Wilm, CEO of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, released a statement on Friday night to clarify the situation, emphasizing its significance for those new to racing. Notably, the statement stopped short of apologizing for Thursday’s issues. A second statement from LVGP offered a $200 merchandise store credit to single-day ticket holders, a move that further frustrated many fans.

Domenicali and Wilm explained the decision to evacuate spectators was based on safety concerns for workers and federal regulations limiting transport workers’ hours. They also noted the need for staff to prepare for the remaining event days.

Despite the absence of an apology or refund, the event proceeded. George Russell of Mercedes topped the final practice session before qualifying, followed by Oscar Piastri of McLaren. American rookie Logan Sargeant and Max Verstappen were also notable performers. Sainz, despite the opening night incident, managed to secure a high practice ranking after Ferrari prepared a new car for him, albeit with a subsequent 10-place penalty.

The event’s start has been controversial, facing local discontent over construction disruptions, high ticket prices, and a focus on European viewers. Max Verstappen criticized the event for being overly showy, despite its high profile in the 22-race F1 calendar.

Team principals, including Mercedes’ Toto Wolff and Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur, defended the event, emphasizing its significance for Formula One. Wolff specifically challenged criticism over the incident, highlighting the overall success and impact of the Grand Prix.

As the event continues, with adjustments like additional banners to restrict viewing, the focus remains on delivering a successful on-track experience, with the hope of overcoming the initial setbacks.

Source: https://bigbignews.net/sports

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Las Vegas Grand Prix Incident

What was the major issue at the start of the Las Vegas Grand Prix?

The Las Vegas Grand Prix faced a significant setback when Carlos Sainz Jr. ran over a water valve cover during the first practice session, causing extensive damage to his Ferrari and leading to a delayed and shortened practice schedule.

How did F1 management respond to the Las Vegas Grand Prix incident?

F1 President Stefano Domenicali and Renee Wilm, CEO of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, issued a statement explaining the incident and its implications for spectators and the event schedule. They emphasized safety concerns but did not offer an apology or a refund.

What was the reaction of the teams and drivers to the incident?

Team principals and drivers expressed mixed reactions. Some, like Toto Wolff of Mercedes and Fred Vasseur of Ferrari, defended the event and its significance for F1. Max Verstappen criticized it for being overly showy, and Carlos Sainz Jr. faced a setback due to the incident.

Were there any compensations offered to the fans affected by the incident?

The Las Vegas Grand Prix organizers offered a $200 credit to Thursday-only ticket holders to be used at the official merchandise store. However, this gesture did not fully appease the fans, many of whom felt aggrieved by the initial mishap.

What was the main critique of Max Verstappen regarding the Las Vegas Grand Prix?

Max Verstappen, the three-time reigning world champion, criticized the Las Vegas Grand Prix for being more of a spectacle than a sporting event, describing it as “99% show, 1% sporting event,” and overly extravagant.

More about Las Vegas Grand Prix Incident

  • Formula One Official Website
  • Las Vegas Grand Prix Information
  • Carlos Sainz Jr. Profile
  • Stefano Domenicali’s Statements
  • Renee Wilm’s CEO Insights
  • Mercedes F1 Team Updates
  • Ferrari F1 Team News
  • Max Verstappen’s Comments on F1 Events

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F1Critic November 18, 2023 - 10:11 am

typical of F1 to focus on the show over the sport, Verstappen’s got a point. they need to remember their roots

SpeedQueen45 November 18, 2023 - 10:36 am

i think its unfair for the fans, they paid so much and got so little, not even a proper apology smh

RacingFanJoe November 18, 2023 - 1:19 pm

wow, can’t believe F1 had such a rough start in Vegas. Didn’t expect this from such a high-profile event…

LibertyWatcher November 18, 2023 - 2:47 pm

Liberty Media’s got to step up their game. $500M and this is what they deliver? not impressed at all

CarlosFan1 November 18, 2023 - 9:12 pm

Sainz really had bad luck, hope Ferrari can turn it around for him. he deserves better

F1Newbie November 18, 2023 - 10:27 pm

first time following F1 and this happens? is it always this chaotic??

NightRaceLover November 19, 2023 - 6:22 am

having races at such odd hours? clearly they aren’t thinking about the local fans, all for the European audience huh

MercedesSupporter November 19, 2023 - 8:28 am

Wolff defending the event so strongly, wonder if he’d feel the same if it was a Mercedes car that hit the valve cover


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