Formula 1 canceled the first practice session for the Las Vegas Grand Prix less than 20 minutes after it began.
The session was halted after Carlos Sainz appeared to hit a bump on the track that jostled his car so hard that it forced him to stop. The session was red-flagged after Sainz stopped on the track and the FIA said it would not be resumed as Sainz’s car was being transported back to the garage.
It’s an inauspicious debut for the race weekend after its much-hyped arrival on the F1 calendar. The Sky Sports broadcast reported that Sainz’s car had sucked up a drain cover from the track surface.
The downforce F1 cars create can lift objects from a track surface if they are not secured. It’s not too uncommon for an incident like this to happen at a temporary street track.
The practice TV feed showed significant damage to the floor of Sainz’s car and other drivers also reportedly had issues with drain covers.