Las Vegas, FP1: First practice session halted for circuit repairs following Sainz incident

Leclerc was the fastest before the red flag

By Franck Drui

17 November 2023 - 06:28
Las Vegas, FP1: First practice (…)

Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets in the opening practice session for the first FIA Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. However, the session was called off soon after red flags were shown for an incident in which a loose drain cover caused a stoppage for Carlos Sainz.

Ferrari driver Sainz appeared to bottom out late in a lap and then Spanish driver slowed to a halt on the Strip.

The session was red-flagged and soon after Race Control indicated that the session would not be resumed. FIA Officials reported that a concrete frame around a manhole cover had failed and that all of the other manhole covers would need to be checked.

“Following inspection, it was the concrete frame around a manhole cover that has failed. We now need to check all of the other manhole covers which will take some time. We will be discussing with the local circuit engineering team about the length of time it will take to resolve and will update with any resultant changes to the schedule.”

As a result, Leclerc took top sport with a lap of 1:40.909 ahead of the Haas cars of Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, though the bulk of drivers had posted just four laps at the time of Sainz’s incident.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 1:40.909 4
02 Nico Hülkenberg Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:43.446 4
03 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:44.261 4
04 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:44.397 4
05 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A523 1:45.365 5
06 George Russell Mercedes W14 1:45.497 4
07 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF-23 1:45.824 4
08 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:45.908 5
09 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:46.793 4
10 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:47.174 5
11 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault A523 1:48.253 5
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 1:48.513 4
13 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:48.650 4
14 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:48.822 5
15 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL60 1:48.947 3
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 -:—.--- 2
17 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes MCL60 -:—.--- 2
18 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW45 -:—.--- 2
19 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 -:—.--- 2
20 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes FW45 -:—.--- 0


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