Las Vegas GP first session cut short after Carlos Sainz hits drain

Sainz was forced to stop at the side of the track after an impact on the main straight.


After a much-hyped build up, first practice at the Las Vegas GP was brought to an abrupt end after just 10 minutes of running on track after a red flag was waved for the stopped Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

The Spaniard appeared to hit a bump on the main straight, while lifting off the throttle for a yellow flag, which caused his car to go into failure mode and stop at the side of the track.

That brought out the red flags to give the marshalls an opportunity to get the car off the track, and Sainz came on the radio to say that he believed the floor of the his Ferrari had been broken.

Broadcast footage showed that the floor had been split at the front, with the FIA confirming could the impact was due to a drain which was sucked up due to the downforce of the car, with Sainz audibly groaning on the radio during the incident.

Esteban Ocon also appeared to have suffered a similar shunt, with his Alpine chassis effectively ruined as well.

The stewards were out on track surveying the scene after the incident, which will raise concerns about the safety of the circuit.

Charles Leclerc topped the timing charts of the curtailed session, ahead of the Haas pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, with limited running out on track.

Inspection needed

In a statement released after the session, the FIA confirmed that the entire length of the Las Vegas Strip circuit would need to be examined before it was deemed safe for the cars to get back out on track.

“Following inspection, it was the concrete frame around a manhole cover that has failed,” the FIA said.

“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.”

Matt Neill
Matt Neill
With years of experience in the motorsports field and Matt Neill founded to give clarity and more depth to the digital F1 landscape.
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