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Las Vegas Grand Prix and F1 statement contains MASSIVE omission

Las Vegas Grand Prix and F1 statement contains MASSIVE omission

Las Vegas Grand Prix and F1 statement contains MASSIVE omission

Las Vegas Grand Prix and F1 statement contains MASSIVE omission

A joint statement from the CEOs of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Renee Wilm, and Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali, failed to mention an apology to the fans for the chaotic experience they endured on Thursday night.

F1 fans who had forked out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to watch the action on Thursday night in Vegas were restricted to just nine minutes of running in the first practice session.

The evening was brought to a shuddering halt after a loose water valve cover wreaked havoc on Carlos Sainz's car, leaving the Ferrari stationary in the final sector.

READ MORE: F1 fans angry after being kicked out of Las Vegas GP following FP2 delay

A subsequent red flag led to FP1 being abandoned, with a lengthy delay that would not see FP2 get underway until 2:30am local time.

And even for those fans who had stayed the course in the hopes of getting value for their money, were ushered out of the grandstands and surrounding areas in the interests of safety prior to the start of the second session.

Fans in attendance at the Las Vegas Grand Prix saw just nine minutes of action on Thursday night
Carlos Sainz's Ferrari suffered serious damage from the incident in FP1
F1 and the Las Vegas Grand Prix have now cited various safety concerns regarding the actions they took in an official statement

In a bid to address some of the concerns and criticism that has been levelled at both F1 and the event organisers, a joint statement has been issued to explain the shocking fan experience.

Yet in the 649-word rationale, there was no semblance of an apology to fans for the nightmare ordeal.

F1 and Las Vegas Grand Prix statement

“Our top priority at Formula 1 is the safety and security of our drivers, employees, and fans," the statement read. "Responsibility for the oversight of a Formula 1 event falls with Formula 1 as the commercial rights holder of the sport, the FIA as the regulatory body, and the local promoter, in this case the Las Vegas Grand Prix. This is important for those who are new to racing to understand.

“Last night, approximately nine minutes into the first Free Practice session, a water valve cover broke on the straight on Las Vegas Boulevard. At that time the FIA, which is responsible for the safe running of the activities on the circuit, stopped the session so that we could look at the broken water valve cover and inspect the track. This has happened on occasion at other tracks at other races around the world.

“The precautionary step of removing all of the water valve covers on the entire track and filling them with sand and asphalt was undertaken. The entire process, from determination of the issue to remediation, took approximately five hours. The decision to remediate in this way was taken out of an abundance of caution and because the safety of drivers, trackside marshals and officials and our fans is always our highest priority. We thank the contractors who worked expeditiously to resolve the situation so quickly.

A loose water valve cover was to blame for causing chaos at the Strip

“As a result, the first Free Practice ended early. We moved ahead with the second Free Practice session at approximately 2:30 AM PT for 90 minutes.

“The decision to run the second Free Practice session at 2:30 AM PT was supported by all parties to ensure the sporting integrity of the remainder of the event.

“We would like to thank the drivers, mechanics and all the teams for their patience and commitment last night to ensure that we could run the session successfully."

The statement then turned its attention to the fan experience itself, explaining that various safety concerns meant that spectators simply could not stay and watch the action that they had paid for.

READ MORE: Sainz hit with controversial PENALTY after Las Vegas Grand Prix FP1 incident

Carlos Sainz's SF-23 was left stationary in the final sector less than 10 minutes into FP1

“The delay in the start of the second Free Practice session from midnight to 2:30 AM PT created risks for our employees and our fans," it continued.

“We made the decision to close the fan areas that are under LVGP’s purview at 1:30 AM PT and send fans home. Let us explain why.

“First, we were concerned about our public safety and security officials who had been in service for a long time and who are being asked to work for the next three nights. We thank Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Department of Public Works and other public safety officials for their incredible support during the event and also as we re-opened the track early this morning.

“Second, we were concerned about our transportation employees who are responsible for driving our fans back to hotels. By Federal law, they were bumping up against the amount of time they can legally and safely drive buses."

'We know this is disappointing'

“Finally, our hospitality staff needed the ability to clean and resupply our guest areas to ensure that the fan experience is optimal for everyone over the coming days.

Fans will be hoping to avoid a repeat of Thursday night's chaotic scenes for the rest of the weekend

“We know this was disappointing. We hope our fans will understand based on this explanation that we had to balance many interests, including the safety and security of all participants and the fan experience over the whole race weekend.

“We have all been to events, like concerts, games and even other Formula 1 races, that have been cancelled because of factors like weather or technical issues. It happens, and we hope people will understand.

“So how will we address this tonight? [For FP3 and qualifying].

“We have worked overnight to adjust our staffing plans across security, transportation and hospitality to ensure that we can function and serve fans with the best possible experience in the event of an extended race schedule.

“We are excited about the racing today and thank our entire team and our fans for their support. We know this is going to be a great event. With that let’s get back to racing.”

READ MORE: F1 fans WALK OUT after being left fuming at Las Vegas Grand Prix

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