The Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP) experienced a chaotic start on Friday morning, as ticketed fans were ejected from the practice session. This came after a loose manhole cover on the racetrack severely damaged Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, causing a red flag and necessary repairs. Despite the incident, fans were not issued an apology from Formula 1 (F1) for the inconvenience they faced.
F1 CEO Stefano Domencali and LVGP CEO Renee Wilm released a joint statement explaining the events, but without offering an apology to the affected ticketholders. The statement brushed off the incident, comparing it to other failed sports and entertainment events, and stating that “it happens.”
In a subsequent statement, F1 announced that those who purchased a single-day ticket for Friday would receive a $200 voucher for race merchandise, but no refunds or discounts were offered for those who purchased three-day tickets.
F1 defended their decision to eject fans, citing concerns for public safety and security officials, transportation employees, and hospitality staff. They emphasized the need to balance various interests, including the safety and security of all participants and the overall fan experience for the race weekend.
Despite the explanations offered by F1, fans were left disappointed and frustrated by the lack of an apology for their disrupted experience at the event. The incident at the LVGP has raised questions about the handling of such situations by event organizers and the responsibility they hold towards the fans who support their events.