Lewis Hamilton left with egg on his face as F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix descends into chaos

Lewis Hamilton F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has been left red-faced having praised the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix before trouble struck

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 17/11/2023

- 08:38

Updated: 17/11/2023

- 09:10

The Briton previously talked up the event in America

First practice at the Las Vegas Grand Prix has been cancelled on Friday morning.

And Lewis Hamilton, who previously praised the event, has now been left rather red-faced as a result.

There have been warnings and concerns that the grid in Vegas wasn't ready. Nobody expected the chaos of today, however.

Carlos Sainz Jr was one of two drivers to drive over a manhole and sustain heavy damage to his vehicle, with a drain cover appearing to be to blame.

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix is hanging in the balance due to issues with a manhole cover


Alpine’s Esteban Ocon also ran into a loose manhole cover and there are currently fears second practice, like the first, won't go ahead.

Hamilton, prior to the event, insisted it would be an enjoyable spectacle for the world to watch.

However, his previous comments have now aged badly with the FIA working hard to ensure the event still goes ahead.

Hamilton had said: “I hear there are a lot of people complaining about the direction that Stefano [Domenicali] and Liberty has gone. But they are doing an amazing job.

“The sport continues to grow. It is a business and you will still see good racing here.

"It is a country to tap into and really captivate the audience.”

He added: “Everybody I know in Hollywood is coming and there will be a lot of business going on this weekend.

“It will be a good spectacle to watch, even for those back home who have never been to Vegas.

"They will get to learn what it is all about.”

Or will they?

Second practice has now been delayed and it's currently unclear if the sporting spectacle will be able to resume.

The FIA released a statement explaining the incident, with a spokesman saying: "Following inspection, it was the concrete frame around a manhole cover that failed.

"We now have to check all of the other manhole covers and that will take some time.

"We will be discussing with the local engineering team how long it will take to resolve and will update any changes to the schedule."

That will do little to please fans in attendance, however.

Those watching in Vegas booed and jeered as inspectors tended to the track.

And the criticisms of the event are now coming thick and fast while the uncertainty goes on.

Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur has blasted the incident, insisting it's 'unacceptable'.

He also seemed to accuse organisers of prioritising the pre-race show, instead of the race itself.

"The show is mega and I am very happy with what [F1 owners] Liberty [Media] did around the race but we have to separate the show and the sporting side," he said.


F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

F1 Las Vegas race organisers are facing scrutiny due to the chaos in Sin City


"The opening ceremony was something mega in F1 but it is not because you are doing this that you don't have to do the job on the sporting side.

"You can do the show and do a good job on the sporting side."

And McLaren Racing chief executive officer Zak Brown feels F1 organisers 'got it wrong'.

He said: "I don't think it was because corners were cut.

"They have spared no expense on the event. We just have to work out what happened and fix it. I think they just got it wrong."

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