Formula 1: Farce about fans and water shaft in Las Vegas

After the farce surrounding a defective water shaft during the opening training session in Las Vegas and the later evacuation of the stands, Formula 1 offered an attempt at an explanation.

Formula 1: Farce about fans and water shaft in Las Vegas

After the farce surrounding a defective water shaft during the opening training session in Las Vegas and the later evacuation of the stands, Formula 1 offered an attempt at an explanation.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz raced over the broken cover of a water shaft on the so-called strip and inadvertently caused the session to be aborted after 19 minutes. It was only two and a half hours late that the pilots were able to complete the second session, which was extended by 30 minutes, after inspections and repairs on the asphalt. The fan zones had long since been cleared by the organizer.

"As a precautionary measure, all water well covers along the entire track were removed and filled with sand and asphalt. The entire process, from identifying the problem to fixing it, took approximately five hours," said a statement from Formula 1's managing director Stefano Domenicali and race organizer Renee Wilm. There are around 30 of these water shafts on the route.

Organizer: Concern for employees

The delay in the start of the second free practice session from midnight to 2:30 a.m. posed “risks for our employees and our fans.” "We have made the decision to close the fan areas under the responsibility of LVGP (Las Vegas Grand Prix) at 1:30 a.m. and send fans home."

The organizers said they were concerned "for our public safety and security service employees who have been on duty for a long time and now have to work for the next three nights." Those responsible were also concerned about the transport employees "who are responsible for transporting our fans back to the hotels. According to federal law, they had reached the time limit for which they can legally and safely drive buses."

"It happens, and we hope people will understand it." Formula 1 hopes that based on this statement, fans will understand "that we had to balance many interests, including the safety of all participants and the fans' experience throughout the race weekend."

The organizers and the motorsport premier class concluded their statement by saying that everyone had been to events such as concerts or other Formula 1 races "that were canceled due to factors such as weather or technical problems. It happens, and we hope that people will understand that."

$200 vouchers as compensation

That remains to be seen. According to English media, all those fans who only had a ticket for the opening day and were then only allowed to experience a few minutes of training received vouchers worth $200 that they could redeem in the event's online fan shop.

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