Manhole Cover Damaged a Ferrari and Squashed F1 Las Vegas GP Free Practice 1
The Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix is this weekend, and things are off to a rough start. After seeing ticket prices fall due to softer-than-expected demand, race organizers are facing criticism after a manhole cover badly damaged one of the two Ferrari cars.
Carlos Sainz Jr.’s Ferrari took significant damage from a water valve cover that was improperly sealed. Unfortunately for the racing teams, the incident caused the suspension of Free Practice 1 (FP1), limiting the amount of time drivers had to get a feel for the brand-new track. Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur was understandably upset, calling the situation unacceptable.
Though dramatic, Ferrari replaced Sainz’s chassis, and he was able to complete a practice session. He and his teammate, Charles Leclerc, ran one-two in FP2, showing promising times. That said, the chassis replacement netted Sainz a ten-place grid penalty, so he will be quite far back, even if he qualifies on the front row.
The new Las Vegas race is Formula 1’s third in the U.S. this year, and the location represents a massive gamble by F1 and its owners, Liberty Media. Ticket prices and hotel rooms were insane leading up to the race, but both have softened considerably as it became clear that fans aren’t super willing to pay the astronomical price tag.
[Image: Cristiano Barni via Shutterstock]
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