‘Ridiculous!’ – F1 fans fume after being forced to leave Las Vegas Grand Prix after watching just eight minutes of action

Fans watched just eight minutes of on-track action.

‘Ridiculous!’ – F1 fans fume after being forced to leave Las Vegas Grand Prix after watching just eight minutes of action
Las Vegas Grand Prix
There were no fans to watch practice at the Las Vegas GP (Photo: Getty)

Formula One fans were left furious after being forced to leave their seats at the Las Vegas Grand Prix having watched just eight minutes of on-track action.

The first practice session at the brand new Las Vegas Strip Circuit got underway on Friday morning (8.30pm local time on Thursday), with everyone excited to see cars race around Sin City for the first time in over 40 years.

However, FP1 would last just eight minutes after Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari was badly damaged by a loose manhole cover.

The session was stopped and then cancelled altogether with the FIA needing to ‘check all of the other manhole covers which will take some time’, which in turn delayed the start of FP2 by two-and-a-half hours.

That session (which finished at 4:30am local time) ran without a hitch on track thankfully, but there were no spectators watching them as they were forced to leave the venue because, according to Sky Sports, the session time ran over the contractual obligation of circuit staff.

‘Given the latest of the hour and logistical concerns regarding the safe movement of fans and employees out of the circuit, LVGP made the difficult decision to close the fan zones prior to the beginning of Free Practice Two,’ the Las Vegas Grand Prix said in a statement.

Fans were understandably angry at this turn of events, especially after paying an extortionate amount to be there, with the average three-day ticket price for the weekend said to be over £5,000 and that’s not even including accommodation and travel.

Manhole That Caused Carlos Sainz Incident At The Las Vegas Grand Prix at Las Vegas Strip Circuit on 17/11/2023, in Las Vegas, United States. Photo by Francois Tremblay/Motorsport Images. * Editorial use only to German and UK newspapers and non-motor racing or automotive publications or digital platforms. * Pictured: GV,General View Ref: SPL10002294 171123 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Motorsport Images / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures USA: 310-525-5808 UK: 020 8126 1009 eamteam@shutterstock.com Germany Rights, United Kingdom Rights
The manhole that broke Carlos Sainz’s car (Photo: Motorsport Images)

‘Ridiculous! We waited for four hours and they gave us hope, they said at 2am we’re going to have the practice and nothing happened and now they’re telling us to leave. What a night!’ one disgruntled fan told Sky Sports.

‘We came from Los Angeles, we fly only for today, we spent the money for the airplane, the tickets for this place and nothing!’

Another said: ‘That’s what the big difference is you know, the optimism, the hope that it would continue.

‘We caught 10 minutes of the beginning and then we sat, we waited, we hung out, food was good, drinks were good. But we sat and nothing happened.’

‘It’s Vegas baby! It’s just what we expected wasn’t it? We wanted to stay there until three in the morning to watch the practice but it is what it is.’

As for what happened on track, Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc impressively topped FP2, half-a-second quicker than Sainz and Fernando Alonso.

MORE : Formula 1 drivers voice concerns over ‘distracting’ Las Vegas Sphere ahead of race

MORE : Formula 1 drivers voice concerns over ‘distracting’ Las Vegas Sphere ahead of race

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