The competitive picture took an inevitable back seat to organisational matters on a bound-to-be-infamous first day of running at the Las Vegas Grand Prix – but who actually looked fast?
During the weekend in Las Vegas, it became clear that the Ferrari excels on the long straights and slow corners, making it the fastest over a single lap, albeit by a small margin over Red Bull and Mercedes. Carlos Sainz showed great strength in his rebuilt car, but it was Charles Leclerc who put together an impressive lap when the track was at its quickest. Fernando Alonso also had a strong performance, although it may have flattered the Aston Martin. On the first soft-tyre runs, Leclerc, Verstappen, and Hamilton were closely matched. However, the headline times may be skewed due to the different run timings and wing levels of the teams. Despite concerns about tyre degradation, the soft C5 tyre seems viable for a one-stop strategy, but managing graining will be challenging.