The much-anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix faced an unforeseen hiccup when the initial practice round was abruptly halted due to a dislodged manhole cover.
The incident, which occurred shortly after the session commenced, saw Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari coming to a stop after encountering an unexpected bump, leading to significant damage to the vehicle’s front.
The delay ensued as race organisers declared the suspension of the session.
The FIA, the governing body of international motorsports, released a statement attributing the disruption to a concrete frame failure around a manhole cover and announced a comprehensive inspection of all similar covers on the track.
The statement also mentioned ongoing discussions with local engineers to estimate the repair duration and any potential alterations to the event schedule.
Despite the setback, Charles Leclerc managed to record the fastest lap time prior to the interruption. Meanwhile, Ferrari’s team confirmed they were assessing the extent of damage to Sainz’s car, which appeared to be considerable.
Additionally, Esteban Ocon’s Alpine was also reported to have sustained damage, prompting the team to replace his car’s chassis.
This incident mirrored a past event at the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix when a loose manhole cover impacted George Russell’s Williams car, resulting in the cancellation of that practice session.