Official statement from the FIA
The FIA has now issued an official statement and reports: “Inspection showed that the concrete structure around one manhole cover failed. We now have to check all other manhole covers, which will take some time.”
“We will discuss with the local athletics team how long it will take to resolve the issue and adjust the timeline accordingly,” he said.
By the way, Martin Brundle can’t imagine driving again today. “That’s it for today”, predicts the expert Sky.
Vasseur: You shouldn’t mix things up
The Ferrari team boss calmed down a bit and explained that this weekend’s show was “mega”. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect the sports field because of this.
You can definitely have a good show and still play a good sport, he makes clear. Brown speaks of an “unfortunate” incident, but one that has also happened on other routes in the past.
And Vowles also defends the FIA and explains that the forces that the cars had on the track were poorly evaluated in advance. But this will be fixed now.
No questions about the accident
This is exactly why press conferences currently have such a bad reputation: moderator Tom Clarkson asks a lot – but practically nothing about the accident. And of course this is the topic that interests everyone at the moment.
Fortunately, the panel is now open to questions from the journalists present.
The Ferrari team boss starts at PK and reveals that, in addition to the chassis, the engine of Sainz’s car was also damaged. The entire situation is “unacceptable”, Vasseur makes clear.
When moderator Tom Clarkson tries to change the subject to the Las Vegas event, Vasseur immediately blocks him. He is not the right person to contact for this today.
When Clarkson still doesn’t give up, Vasseur completely interrupts the conversation soon after and says that it would be better to ask Wolff or another team manager a question.
Someone is really upset and (understandably) it doesn’t seem like the first part of PK, which is usually just a pure PR show…
This used to be a subfloor…
And here’s a look at the underside of the Sainz car after the accident. Or what’s left of it…
By the way, there is again video of the incident here, recorded by a trail camera.
Team Leaders PK
Let’s see if we can get any new information from the team managers’ press conference. This starts in five minutes with the following guests:
Toto Wolff (Mercedes)
James Vowles (Williams)
Zak Brown (McLaren)
Frederic Vasseur (Ferrari)
As always, the most important statements can be found here in the ticker!
Any other problems?
The colleagues of ESPN report that there is probably more than one problem on the route. Other manhole covers were also affected. So it will probably take some time to fix everything…
How flexible are you?
In this case, it is actually an advantage that there are no support races this weekend. Helmut Marko explains in Sky: “Thank God there are no support races and we are unlimited in terms of time.”
Theoretically, you can postpone or extend sessions as you wish. “I just hope we can get this resolved quickly from a safety perspective so we can do at least one more training session,” Marko said.
He says of the Sainz incident itself: “It could have had fatal consequences.” In other words, if the loose part could have been thrown upwards and thus become a projectile…
What is the next?
As you know, Martin Brundle believes that it is no longer possible to drive today. But if this is the case, FT2 can be extended by 30 minutes to make up for lost time.
“We have to be flexible”, explains Red Bull team boss Christian Horner Sky. It would also be conceivable that the schedule would be adjusted on Saturday if you were no longer able to drive today.
But let’s wait and see for now. “I hope it doesn’t take that long,” Horner said.
Insufficient lane inspection?
Do you remember Christian Nimmervoll’s column yesterday? Our editor-in-chief already wrote there:
“It all starts with the inspection of the track. FIA race director Niels Wittich should have given the green light on Tuesday, but when he walked the track with his team, in many places it was not yet finished or was not under conditions that would have allowed Wittich to give the green light for the Grand Prix with a clear conscience.
“So the inspection, as the story in the paddock goes, had to be repeated on Wednesday. Strictly speaking – yes, this is a bit complicated – it wasn’t even fixed at the time of the grand opening ceremony (Formula 1 is now making an Olympic move). that the Grand Prix can happen.”
Of course, it’s unclear whether there actually is a connection. But it is noticeable. You can find the full column here!
Is this the reason for the problems here? Allegedly. But even if that were the case, the question would still remain as to whether the rest of the route is safe. The FIA must be able to guarantee this before the start of FT2.
Ocon car also damaged
It wasn’t just the Ferrari that was hit: an Alpine was also literally destroyed on the track. Esteban Ocon needs a new chassis. This is not only annoying for teams, it is also a cost factor.
Of course, especially in times when costs are limited, you can’t use something like this.
Problem with manhole cover
The FIA has now officially confirmed that this is a problem with the manhole cover. Apparently this can’t be fixed so quickly, which is why the session was completely aborted.
What is also possible: you may now want to recheck the entire route and not just the place where the Ferrari broke down.
By the way, we hear that Ferrari is in trouble. The mechanics now have a lot of repairs to do before FT2, which is scheduled to start at 9am our time.
FT1: Session aborted
Quick decision by the FIA: The session cannot continue. As feared, there is a bigger problem with the route. This was not how Formula 1 imagined its return to Las Vegas…
FT1: What happened to Sainz?
Ferrari is innocent: the replay shows that Sainz ran over something. The car then broke down. The question now is: was it “just” a bump?
On a road route, for example, it could have been a manhole cover that was perhaps not properly secured. And if that were the case, then we would have to prepare for a longer red phase…
Get all the latest information in the session’s live ticker!
FT1: red flag
It was a short pleasure, less than nine minutes later we received the first red flag. However, there was no accident, Sainz simply left. A technical problem at Ferrari.
In fact, except Sargeant, all the drivers have been on the track at least once. Leclerc is currently ahead at 1:40.909. But this will get much faster over the weekend!
Because the track will improve with each lap. As there are no support trails, the slope in FT1 is still completely green. This way she will get faster and faster until the race.
Get all the latest information in the session’s live ticker!