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F1 fail to apologise or issue refunds to Las Vegas fans: ‘It happens’

Spectators on Thursday night saw just eight minutes of cars on track on a farcical day in Vegas

Kieran Jackson
in Las Vegas
Saturday 18 November 2023 04:50 GMT
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Empty grandstands at Las Vegas GP as chaotic practice session takes place at 3am

Formula 1 failed to apologise or issue refunds to fans despite the fact they witnessed just eight minutes of cars on track before being told to leave on a farcical opening day in Las Vegas.

As opposed to a refund, all single-day ticket holders have instead been offered a $200 voucher for the Las Vegas Grand Prix official shop.

Those with full weekend, three-day tickets won’t be reimbursed in any way for Thursday night’s lost action.

A lengthy statement released on Friday from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm was also notable for the lack of an apology to spectators as well.

A section of the statement read: “We have all been to events, like concerts, games and even other Formula 1 races, that have been cancelled because of factors like weather or technical issues.

“It happens, and we hope people will understand.”

Fans in the grandstands were told to leave at 1:30am local time on Friday morning, one hour before the second practice session took place.

The statement also detailed that fans were told to leave due to “concern about our public safety and security officials, transportation employees and hospitality staff.”

Fans on Thusday saw just eight minutes of cars on track (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The drama began on Thursday night when Carlos Sainz ran over a loose drain cover on the strip, forcing the first practice session to be cancelled for safety reasons.

Second practice, scheduled to start at midnight, was continuously delayed before it started at 2:30am. By that point, cars were going around the new 3.8-mile track without any fans present to see it.

The statement also read: “The precautionary step of removing all of the water valve covers on the entire track and filling them with sand and asphalt was undertaken.

“The entire process, from determination of the issue to remediation, took approximately five hours. The decision to remediate in this way was taken out of an abundance of caution and because the safety of drivers, trackside marshals and officials and our fans is always our highest priority.

“We thank the contractors who worked expeditiously to resolve the situation so quickly.”

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