The excitement surrounding the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix took an unexpected turn as the first practice session faced cancellation due to extensive damage to Carlos Sainz’s $15 million Formula 1 car.

The incident occurred when the car encountered a loose drain cover on the track, leading to significant floor damage. The $70 million track is now under repair, with Formula 1 crews actively securing manholes. The second practice session is slated to resume once repairs are complete.

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The highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix encountered an unforeseen obstacle during its first practice session as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz suffered damage to his vehicle after running over a loose drain cover. The incident prompted a red flag, and the session was subsequently canceled.

Following the incident, an inspection revealed that a concrete frame around a manhole cover had failed during the first practice session. The FIA initiated checks on all other covers across the circuit to ensure safety. Formula 1 Las Vegas assured fans that the FIA, F1, and local circuit engineering teams are actively working to address the issue. Additional safety measures were taken before the second practice session commenced around 2:30 a.m. local time.

Carlos Sainz faced consequences for the mishap, receiving a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Grand Prix as key parts of his vehicle had to be changed. Ferrari principal Frédéric Vasseur deemed the situation “unacceptable,” highlighting the extensive damage to Sainz’s car, including the monocoque, engine, and battery. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon also experienced damage due to the loose drain cover, necessitating a chassis change.

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Despite the challenges, the second practice session proceeded after additional safety measures were implemented. Formula 1 Las Vegas acknowledged the significant delay in the race schedule and made the decision to close fan zones before Free Practice 2. The organizers expressed commitment to providing a safe and entertaining race weekend for all, emphasizing the priority of safety for drivers, fans, and staff alike.