Formula One being sued after shambolic scenes at Las Vegas Grand Prix

Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix

The Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix descended into chaos during first practice on Friday

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 19/11/2023

- 07:23

First practice ended after just nine minutes on Friday

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Formula One after shambolic scenes during first practice on Friday morning.

The session lasted just nine minutes after a loose drain cover sparked chaos, with two drivers seeing their vehicles damaged as a result.

Fans paid as much as $200 in order to attend practice but it was later abandoned, much to the dismay of those in attendance.

Second session was later delayed and, as organisers inspected every drain on the track, supporters in the stands were told to leave.

Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix

Formula One is being sued after the shambolic scenes at the Las Vegas Grand Prix


By the time second practice eventually resumed at 2:30am, nobody was there to watch it despite fans paying a huge amount to attend the spectacle.

A statement read: 'Due to logistical considerations for our fans and our staff, we have made the determination that we will be closing all Las Vegas Grand Prix fan areas at 1:30am PT."

Now, fans are fighting back.

Dimopoulos Law Firm and co-counsel JK Legal & Consulting have filed a class action lawsuit against the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix in Nevada state court.

They say they are acting on behalf of '35,000 people who purchased tickets' with fans unable to get refunds.

The lawsuit alleges breach of contract and negligence, as well as deceptive trade practices against the defendants.

"We will vindicate the rights of the fans that travelled great distances and paid small fortunes to attend but were deprived of the experience," Steve Dimopoulos, Dimopoulos Law Firm owner and lead attorney, said.

The lawsuit's defendants are Liberty Media Corporation DBA Formula One Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix and TAB Contractors, Inc.

Fans came from all over the world to watch the session.

Some say they were offered discounts at the official gift shop, which only added to their anger.

Many were critical at F1 officials for the way they handled the situation and treated watchers.

Yet Toto Wolff came out swinging, with the Mercedes chief snapping when asked if the issue was a 'black eye' for the sport.

"That is not a 'black eye' – this is nothing," the Austrian raged.

"We are [on] Thursday night, we have a free practice session one that we're not doing.

"They're going to seal the drain covers and nobody's going to talk about that tomorrow morning anymore."

He added: "It's FP1 – how can you even dare trying to talk bad about an event that sets new standards to everything?

"You're speaking about a f***ing drain cover that's been undone, that has happened before. That's nothing – it's FP1.

"Give credit to the people that have set up this grand prix, that have made this sport much bigger than it ever was.

"Liberty has done an awesome job and just because in FP1 a drain cover has become undone, we shouldn't be moaning.

"The car is broken – that's really a shame. For Carlos [Sainz], it could have been dangerous.


F1 Las Vegas Grand prix

F1 fans were unable to watch second practice at the Las Vegas Grand Prix


"So between the FIA and the track and everybody needs to analyse how we can make sure that this is not happening again.

"But talking here about the 'black eye for the sport' on a Thursday evening – nobody watches that in European time anyway."

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