Minority of fans offered compensation after Las Vegas GP debacle
By Ian Parkes
Saturday 18th November, 2023 - 12:56pm
Formula 1 has offered just six percent of fans compensation following the debacle that unfolded on the opening day of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The tens of thousands of spectators who had gathered to witness the long-awaited spectacle were left short-changed as they witnessed only eight minutes of track action.
The opening practice session was red-flagged, and never resumed, after Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and Alpine of Esteban Ocon sustained severe damage after driving over a water-valve cover.
The concrete seal around the cover exploded underneath Sainz’s car, in particular, leading to a power unit failure and the replacement of components that resulted in a 10-place grid penalty.
Given the five-hour repairs that were then undertaken, as other water valve covers were checked, FP2 finally ran at 2.30am local time.
By that stage, those fans that had remained in the hope of seeing some action had been forced to leave an hour earlier due to welfare concerns of all support staff.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and Las Vegas GP CEO Renee Wilm have offered an explanation as to what unfolded and the decisions taken.
LVGP has now confirmed that all those who held a Thursday-only ticket will receive a US$200 voucher for the official store.
A statement to those fans read: “There is no higher priority at a Formula 1 race than the safety and security of drivers, fans and staff alike.
“Following last night’s incident involving a water valve cover, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, F1, and the FIA were faced with the difficult decision to close the fan zones prior to the beginning of Free Practice 2.
“We appreciate your patience while we remedied the situation. This was not a decision we took lightly.
“As a thank you for your support, we would like to offer you a $200 voucher to the Las Vegas Grand Prix Official Shop.
“With a full round of practice successfully completed, we look forward to providing a safe and entertaining race weekend for all.”
The overwhelming 94 percent of fans, however, in possession of a three-day ticket will seemingly not be compensated, with LVGP stating that they “will be attending today and tomorrow as well”.