Formula 1 was making a return to Las Vegas for the first time since 1982; Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon both suffered significant damage to their cars because of broken manhole cover on all-new circuit
Last Updated: 17/11/23 6:20am
Formula 1’s return to Las Vegas was thrown into chaos as the opening practice session was cancelled after just eight minutes of action due to a broken manhole cover damaging the cars of Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon.
With F1 returning to Las Vegas for the first time since 1982 on an all-new circuit, a red flag was thrown by the race director after Ocon’s Alpine and then Sainz’s Ferrari suffered significant damage having run over the damaged part of the track on the main straight.
A further 11 minutes passed before a decision was taken to cancel the session, with second practice uncertain to start as scheduled at 8am.
An FIA statement said: “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 – 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.”
Speaking in the team principal’s press conference immediately after the session, Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur described the incident as “unacceptable” while confirming damage to Sainz’s monocoque, engine, and battery.
Alpine, meanwhile, confirmed that the chassis would need to be changed on Ocon’s car.
The other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc was top of the timesheet when the session was halted, but the extremely limited running offered next to no clue as to what the running order will be for the remainder of the weekend.
More to follow…
When to watch the Las Vegas GP live on Sky Sports
Friday November 17
- 7:45am: Las Vegas GP Practice Two (session starts at 8am)
- 9:15am: The F1 Show: Las Vegas
Saturday November 18
- 4:15am: Las Vegas GP Practice Three (session starts at 4.30am)
- 7am: Las Vegas Grand Prix Qualifying build-up (also on Sky Showcase)
- 8am: Las Vegas GP Qualifying (also on Sky Showcase)
- 10am: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
Sunday November 19
- 4:30am: Grand Prix Sunday: Las Vegas GP build-up (also on Sky Showcase)
- 6am: THE LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX (also on Sky Showcase)
- 8am: Chequered Flag: Las Vegas GP reaction (also on Sky Showcase)
- 9am: Ted’s Notebook (also on Sky Showcase)
Get ready for the big one: Formula 1 in Las Vegas! See drivers race down the Strip, and past landmarks like Caesars Palace and the Bellagio, on F1’s newest street track. Watch the whole Las Vegas GP weekend live on Sky Sports F1, starting this Friday with lights out on Sunday at 6am. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW