After months of waiting and anticipation, Formula 1’s return to Las Vegas quickly took a negative turn. The first free practice session was canceled when a drain damaged Carlos Sainz’s car after just nine minutes of action on Thursday night.
The suction of the vehicle raised the drain which damaged Sainz’s Ferrari which came to an automatic stop on the track. The Spaniard was one of the first drivers to set wheels on the new track built on the streets of Las Vegas.
— Formula 1 (@F1)
November 17, 2023
Commissioners announced the adjournment of the session, before confirming its cancellation.
Formula 1 will carry out a full assessment of the track before allowing the cars to return to the track.
The second free practice session was scheduled for midnight Las Vegas time (3 a.m. Quebec time).
“We will discuss with the local engineering team how long it will take to resolve the issue and update any resulting schedule changes,” the FIA added.
Sainz’s Ferrari suffered a shock nine minutes into this session on the long straight that runs along the “Strip”. Its power unit is potentially destroyed.
Frenchman Esteban Ocon’s Alpine also suffered heavy damage on the flat bottom when going over the manhole cover.
Charles Leclerc set the fastest time before the break in 1min 40s with 909 for F1’s grand return to Las Vegas, 41 years after the last Grand Prix held in the gambling city.