In a surprising turn of events during the Las Vegas Grand Prix FP1 session, Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon found themselves facing significant damage caused by a dislodged water valve cover. While the initial outlook was grim, a noteworthy development has unfolded within the Alpine team.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix kicked off with a bang, and not the kind Formula 1 enthusiasts were hoping for. The unexpected incident involving Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon led to the dislodgment of a crucial water valve cover, resulting in extensive damage to their respective cars. This unfortunate turn of events prompted a red flag, and ultimately, the cancellation of the entire FP1 session.
At first glance, it appeared that both Sainz and Ocon would be forced to abandon their current chassis and switch to new ones. However, the Alpine team swiftly responded to the challenge and successfully readied a spare chassis for Car #31, ensuring that Esteban Ocon could return to the track and compete without major disruptions.
Providing a comprehensive assessment of the damage, journalist Tobi Grüner from Auto, Motor und Sport reported:
“We hear the top part of the drain pipe that got loose has a cylindrical shape. It caused a big hole in the floor of the Ferrari. It was even possible to see the road through the cockpit.”
In light of this incident, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has taken proactive measures to enhance track safety. Rigorous inspections of all track covers are now underway to prevent similar occurrences in the future. One notable step being implemented is the thorough filling of every hole in the track covers with cement, ensuring that they remain secure and pose no risk to the safety of the drivers.
Despite the dramatic start, the Las Vegas Grand Prix continues to hold a special place in the Formula 1 calendar. While the opening session may have been marred by unexpected mishaps, fans can still look forward to the thrilling racing action that lies ahead.