Christian Horner has suggested extending other Las Vegas GP practice sessions after FP1 was cut short due to a loose manhole cover.
Both Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz suffered significant damage during the opening stages of the race weekend as a piece of either a manhole cover or a water valve box cap appeared to be sucked up by the cars and dislodged.
Not only a disaster for Formula 1 from a reputation point of view, it also posed a significant challenge to the teams who were hoping to gain some valuable data about a new track.
Christian Horner suggested extended Las Vegas GP FP3
Teams had just three hours of running before qualifying on this brand-new circuit but none of them would have predicted that they would be given just eight minutes to practice in the opening session.
At the time of writing, that may well be the only running seen on the Friday as the Strip will reopen to the public at 4am local time (12pm UK time), giving the FIA minimal time to check every other cover on the 6.201km circuit.
Horner, who is celebrating his 50th birthday, suggested “flexibility” was needed and perhaps elongating FP3.
“They’ve got to go and check them all really just to make sure it’s safe to run,” he told Sky Sports. “These cars are doing such a speed so close to the ground, we’ve just got to make sure that it’s safe.
“We’ve just got to be flexible. It’s a great shame for the fans that have come out to see the cars running but safety comes first. So we’ve just got to get this right and hopefully, it won’t take too long.
“We’d have to extend the amount of running time in maybe FP3 or something like that. I think they’ll get it sorted.”
Horner also said he spoke with his Ferrari counterpart Fred Vasseur about the extent of damage done to Sainz’s car.
“I think from what I’ve heard, I think one of the Alpines [Ocon] has picked up a bit of damage,” Horner said. “I had a quick chat with Fred. Obviously, the damage is quite significant on that Ferrari.”