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Ferrari boss launches attack on F1 after farcical opening session at Las Vegas Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz Jr.'s car was wrecked after driving over a loose drain cover during FP1

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Ferrari Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur blames F1 and organisers of the Las Vegas Grand Prix for a loose drain cover which severely damaged Carlos Sainz Jr’s SF23.

A marshal inspects the drain which damaged Carlos Sainz Jr.’s Ferrari SF23 (Image Credit: @SkySportsF1 on X)

The first instance of on-track action on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit was curtailed after just eight minutes. This was after a loose drain cover on the main straight was sucked up underneath Sainz’ car, causing extensive damage to the underside of the Ferrari.

FP1 was then officially cancelled while emergency repairs to the circuit were undertaken. While waiting for an extended second free practice session to begin, the governing body revealed the reason for the failure.

They confirmed that concrete framing around the manhole cover had failed, and that there would be significant delays to subsequent sessions while engineers inspected every other drain cover on the 6.201 km (3.853 miles) racetrack.

F1 has stated on X (formerly Twitter) that FP2 is “expected to commence at 2am local time” (10am GMT), a delay of several hours, with a 30-minute extension allowing the drivers 90 minutes to dial in their setups for Qualifying and the race. This has since been further delayed to 2:30am local time.

Vasseur’s critical comments towards F1

One driver who won’t be taking part in FP2 is Sainz, as the Ferrari mechanics will be unable to fix the stricken car in time.

Ferrari boss Vasseur rages at the race organisers for allowing a loose drain cover to remain unnoticed on circuit for so long.

He said: “The situation is that we’ve changed the monocoque, the engine, the battery. I think it’s just unacceptable.”

“We’ve f***ed up the session for Carlos. He won’t be part of FP2 for sure. We have to change the chassis of the car. I think it’s just unacceptable from F1 today.”

Feature Image Credit: REUTERS

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