A water valve cover coming loose on the track damaging multiple vehicles, including Carlos Sainz’s Team Ferrari car, led to officials having to ensure the dozens of other covers were securely in place before F1 cars could again hit the 3.8-mile circuit.
With that process taking 2½ hours to complete, Formula One, its governing body the FIA and grand prix officials decided it was best to close off the grandstands and hospitality areas ahead of the later-than-scheduled practice round.
“There is no higher priority at a Formula 1 race than the safety and security of drivers, fans and staff alike,” a joint statement issued early Friday morning from race officials said. “Given the lateness of the hour and logistical concerns regarding the safe movement of fans and employees out of the circuit, LVGP made the difficult decision to close the fan zones prior to the beginning of Free Practice 2.”
The single practice was extended to 90 minutes in length to make up for session one being cut short to keep race weekend on schedule for the final two days of racing action.
“With a full round of practice successfully completed, LVGP looks forward to providing a safe and entertaining race weekend for all,” the joint statement said.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill called the incident “disappointing,” noting that it would’ve been better if it didn’t happen at all. Hill also pointed out that although officials always hope for the best, they plan for the worst, with a team of experts ready to address any issue, like they did the water valve situation Thursday night into Friday morning.
“So there are crews and materials out here to repair anything that would come up,” Hill said. “We understand the importance of this event to Las Vegas and to Formula One. So all of those contingencies have been anticipated, and there are numerous crews out here to get to work on this.”
Original News Source Link – LVRJ
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