The opening practice session for the Las Vegas Grand Prix was canceled after just eight minutes due to a loose drain cover on the Strip that caused damage to several cars. The session was suspended after Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari stopped after hitting the loose cover. Esteban Ocon and Zhou Guanyu’s cars were also damaged. Race officials called off the session so they could conduct a full check on the other manhole covers around the track.
This is not the first time there have been issues with loose manhole covers on street circuits in Formula One. In 2019, George Russell hit a loose manhole cover in practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, destroying the underside of his Williams car.
The cancellation of FP1 is a major setback for Formula One as it bids to draw in the eyes of the sporting world this weekend. With just three hours to go until FP2, it remains to be seen whether the necessary fixes can be made in time for the cars to safely navigate the circuit.