The scenes in Las Vegas on Thursday night into Friday morning made for uncomfortable viewing – and flashbacks to Indianapolis 2005. It’s not quite there yet, but the die has been cast and the warning is there.
After the chaotic night in Las Vegas, the Formula 1 promoter made things worse with a statement that lacked any mention of an apology or refund for the affected fans. Issues with drains and manhole covers on street tracks are not new, as seen in previous incidents in Azerbaijan and Monaco. In Las Vegas, concrete frames around water valves were ripped from the road by the powerful forces under the cars. Carlos Sainz’s SF-23 was destroyed when he hit a dislodged drain at nearly 200mph, resulting in a 10-place penalty for taking a third ES. The ejection of fans was due to contracted security staff not being available for overtime. Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur criticized the damage caused to Sainz’s car and stressed the need to separate the show aspect from the sporting side of the event.