Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has blasted the
“unacceptable” circuit problems at the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Nine
minutes into the first practice session, Carlos Sainz stopped on
track at Turn 17 after running over a loose drain cover in his
SF-23. Onboard video shows that he ran over the cover and it
immediately shut down his engine, with external CCTV images from
the nearby Bellagio Hotel showing a shower of sparks after the
impact. When asked about the damage to Sainz’s car, Vasseur told
media, including RacingNews365 : “We damaged completely the
monocoque, the engine, the battery. I think it’s just unacceptable.
“It cost us a fortune. We f***d up the session for Carlos. We won’t
be part of FP2 for sure. “I think it’s just unacceptable for F1
today.” The FIA elected to red flag and abandon the session, after
it emerged that Alpine driver Esteban Ocon also hit a drain cover.
Formula 1 and the FIA confirmed that it was a “water valve cover”
that failed, with work ongoing to fix the issue ahead of the
subsequent sessions. Vasseur: F1 must separate the show and
sporting side Track inspections were delayed due to the opening
ceremony on Wednesday, with the regular high speed test taking
place late into the evening and minutes before practice. Vasseur
added that he felt the sporting aspect should not be overlooked
amid the show being put on at Las Vegas. “The show is mega and I’m
really happy with what Liberty [Media] did around the race and I
think it’s a huge step forward for F1,” he added. “We have to
separate what is the show and the sporting side.”

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