Las Vegas track issues ‘cost Alpine a chassis’, doubts over FP2 participation

Michelle Foster
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon's A523 in the garage overnight in Las Vegas.

Esteban Ocon's Alpine car in the garage.

Esteban Ocon’s side of the Alpine garage is in a race to get his A523 ready for second practice after the Frenchman’s car was damaged along with Carlos Sainz’s by a manhole cover.

Laying down the laps on the new Las Vegas circuit during Thursday night’s opening practice hour, Ocon and Sainz hit a concrete frame around a manhole cover.

The Alpine and the Ferrari suffered extensive damage.

‘That means neither will make FP2…’

While initially it was noted that Sainz’s floor had been shattered with the Spaniard taking a hard hit, it has subsequently been suggested his chassis was also broken.

That’s what happened with Ocon with Alpine confirming they will “change the chassis on Car #31 due to damage from a suspected drain cover on track.”

Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz doubts either driver will take to the track for the night’s second practice as there are only three hours between the sessions.

“Now we know the manhole has cost Alpine a chassis and we believe it has cost Sainz one as well,” he said.

“That means neither will make FP2 as it takes more than three hours to get a new chassis ready.

“The mechanics are dismantling the gearbox and if that’s okay they can bolt that onto the new chassis when it gets into the garage. But it’s quite a lot of work to do.”

Grabbing a quick word with Alpine’s interim team boss Bruno Famin, the Frenchman said he’s still hopeful that Ocon will join the late-night action. recommends

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“Not totally impossible, we may not be ready if the issue takes a bit longer. It could be possible, maybe a possibility,” he said.

“It is quite bad, we have to change the chassis and the floor. We have to take the car into pieces. Quite challenging.”

He, however, is confident that should FP2 take place there won’t be a repeat scenario.

“The FIA knows perfectly what they have to do and I’m sure they’re doing it,” he said.

Read next: Las Vegas GP: FP1 cancelled after track issues lead to a big hit for Carlos Sainz