Vasseur slams F1 for “unacceptable” track problems at Las Vegas GP that destroyed Sainz’s car

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Carlos Sainz’s Thursday at Las Vegas was very quickly ruined as the Spaniard was the unfortunate victim of a loose manhole cover on the streets of Las Vegas in first practice.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

As he was slowing because of yellow flags on the run down the long straight towards turn 14, the two-time Grand Prix winner hit the cover and it heavily damaged his SF-23.

He immediately stopped because of it, and a message on the dash on his steering wheel said ‘stop the car, engine off’.

Fred Vasseur was absolutely livid speaking in the team bosses press conference shortly afterwards.

The usually calm and composed Frenchman was fuming as he explained the damage to the car that will rule Sainz out of second practice — presuming that goes ahead.

“We damaged completely the monocoque, the engine, the battery.

“It cost us a fortune. We f***ed up the session for Carlos. We won’t be part of FP2, for sure.

“I think it’s just unacceptable for F1 today. You would be upset in my situation.”

According to Auto Motor und Sport, “the top part of the drain pipe that got loose has a cylindrical shape. It caused a big hole in the floor of the Ferrari. It was even possible to see the road through the cockpit.”

A joint statement from F1 and Las Vegas said: “After inspection by Formula 1 and the FIA, a single water valve cover on the Las Vegas Grand Prix circuit failed during the first practice session.

“The FIA, F1 and local circuit engineering teams are actively working to review and address the issue. We will provide an update on the race schedule as soon as possible.

“During this review period, all tickets food and beverage and entertainment options will continue to be honored, and we

remain focused on providing our patrons with a great experience.

“We appreciate the collaboration of the relevant event operations staff to ensure a safe and orderly egress of patrons if they choose to leave.”