F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix controversy as Mercedes and Red Bull break rules

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix controversy with Red Bull and Mercedes both breaking curfew

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Jack Otway

By Jack Otway


Published: 18/11/2023

- 08:21

Updated: 18/11/2023

- 09:54

The two teams will be gunning for glory in Sin City this weekend

There's been controversy at the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix after Mercedes and Red Bull broke curfew rules.

Neither team will be punished, however, as the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen look to win the main event in Sin City.


Both Mercedes and Red Bull broke curfew, working on their cars late into the night.

However, the FIA is refusing to punish either team with each side allowed to have two infringements. Neither have broken that curfew rule more than twice.

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Mercedes also broke the rules at the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

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A technical delegate's report read: "last night team personnel of the Oracle Red Bull Racing team, who are associated with the operation of the car, were within the confines of the circuit during the ten and a half hour period which commenced at 07:00 on 17 November, third and a half hours before the scheduled start time of P3 and ends three hours before the scheduled start time of P3 at 17:30 on 17 November.

"This was the first of two individual exceptions permitted for the Oracle Rd Bull Racing team during the 2023 Formula One Championship season and therefore no action should be taken.

"Last night team personnel of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One team, who are associated with the operation of the car, were within the confines of the circuit during the ten and a half hour period which commenced at 07:00 on 17 November, third and a half hours before the scheduled start time of P3 and ends three hours before the scheduled start time of P3 at 17:30 on 17 November.

"This was the first of two individual exceptions permitted for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team during the 2023 Formula One Championship season and therefore no action should be taken."

The event in Las Vegas has been plagued with issues so far.

First practice was cancelled on Friday after two drivers drove over a loose manhole cover, with their vehicles damaged as a result.

And some drivers have been told off for going too slow on the grid during P3 on Saturday morning.

Verstappen is hoping to win yet another race this season, with the Red Bull star enjoying a dominant campaign so far.

He's already won the F1 title, while clocking up 16 victories from a possible 19 so far.

Hamilton, meanwhile, is out to finally win a race for the first time in two years.

The Briton has been unable to challenge Verstappen for supremacy in the sport this season, much to his dismay.

Mercedes are working hard to improve the vehicle as they look to close the gap on their rivals.

And Hamilton praised the car when speaking on Friday, saying: “It’s massively challenging, there’s not a lot of, even though they got the long straights there’s not really a lot of places to overtake because the grip is so low and the tow is not huge a bit like Monza when you’re behind people because you’ve got the small wing there’s not a lot of drag.

“So it’s going to be interesting.

"Qualifying I think position will be really important and obviously degradation is going to be key.”

The Stevenage-born racer also said he had 'so much fun' during the first day in Vegas.

“We are travelling at some serious speeds out there,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s incredibly fast and it’s a lot of fun, I had so much fun today.

“I’m so glad that we did get to run again. Obviously, not great in P1 and what happened, but they did a great job to fix it and yeah an interesting session.”

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Lewis Hamilton F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton is looking for glory at the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix this weekend

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He added: “I had a blast and I didn’t really, everyone’s struggling with jet lag and all that stuff and I feel really great.

“I just watched a movie in between the break and I feel great, ready to go again.”

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