Safety warning, FIA imposes red flag
The FIA imposed a red flag for safety reasons when the manhole cover was lifted, damaging Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari. The Spaniard’s car stopped after passing on the straight line, and an explosion was heard inside the car, causing the engine to stop. Other drivers before Carlos had complained before they passed through this stretch and some of them suffered damage. The federation explained that the reason behind the Ferrari driver’s stop was the asphalt tire of the inspection hatch that came out to hit the bottom of the car: which is a very dangerous dynamic matter on the highway (traveling at 300 per hour). Activity on the track will not begin again until all manholes on the track have been inspected. But why wasn’t this done before?
Las Vegas, the new city track
Las Vegas is a 6.2 km long city route, covering good stretches of asphalt road, as is the case in Monte Carlo or Baku where similar accidents have already occurred in the past. The verification process, which includes track workers, is taking a long time and could change this Friday’s programme, extending the second free practice session which is scheduled to start at 9am (here are weekend times). But it is not unlikely that he will be absent all day. Nevada is the third race on the calendar in the USA, the track is an absolute novelty and has no relation to the track that hosted the 1981 and 1982 editions of the Las Vegas GP (the last race won by Alboreto). The race opened with a Superbowl-style party, a spectacle that was strongly criticized by Verstappen (“I felt like a clown”).
Ferrari: Serious damage to Sainz. Vasseur: “Unacceptable”
The first free practice session (FP1) was blocked, and Leclerc had set the fastest lap. Before Sainz, Stroll and Cho passed through the point, moving the manhole whose cover broke off when Sainz passed. After an initial analysis of the 55th single-seater, Ferrari reported “severe damage” affecting the chassis, engine and other components, including the battery. For Vasseur, the situation is “unacceptable.” Ocon also damaged the Alpine’s chassis and will have to replace it, while Alfa Romeo’s Cho will have to replace the car’s floor mats. Repairs that will cost teams a fortune.
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