The recent Las Vegas Grand Prix, a spectacle of speed and excitement, encountered its share of controversy as fans took matters into their own hands by tearing down view-blocking screens that were installed to restrict access to certain areas. In the weeks leading up to the event, concerns arose when organizers applied these filters to pedestrian bridges over the iconic Strip, preventing those without tickets from getting a glimpse of the thrilling F1 action.
However, the fans had other plans. Local residents attempted to dismantle the obstructive screens, only to find that they were promptly replaced in the affected areas. To make matters even more challenging for the determined fans, cage-like structures were added to the bridges’ upper sections to prevent any potential objects from being hurled onto the track.
The precautions didn’t stop there. Shops along the bustling Strip were temporarily banned from selling glass items during specific times surrounding the F1 sessions. The aim was clear: to prevent anything potentially hazardous from making its way onto the track.
As is customary at many of the permanent F1 tracks worldwide, view-blocking screens were also erected along the perimeter fences, making the Strip’s pavement accessible to the public even during live sessions.
But what happened next was something that even the most passionate F1 enthusiasts couldn’t have predicted. As captured in the photos above and below, some fans, donned in team merchandise but suspected to be without tickets, managed to tear through the screens, gaining a coveted view of the Strip’s track beyond. Event staff tried valiantly to replace the damaged screens, but their efforts proved futile.
This area of contention was located opposite the Planet Hollywood casino and hotel, strategically positioned close to Turn 14 – a key overtaking point on the track layout.
In the wake of incidents at Australian and Brazilian races earlier in the year, where spectators breached security lines, F1 and the FIA had been closely scrutinizing fan interactions with track infrastructure. However, during the Las Vegas Grand Prix, no safety concerns regarding fan behavior were reported in race control, despite the high-octane action eventually being won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
It’s worth noting that the location of the disrupted screens was away from the barriers lining the track’s edge across the Strip. Consequently, fans congregating in this area were not in any immediate danger, nor were the drivers on the track, as had been the case in Melbourne and Sao Paulo.
This fan-driven incident followed a controversial start to the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which had already faced its fair share of challenges. The event kicked off on a rocky note with the FP1 mishap involving a concrete failure around a water valve cover on the Strip. The unfortunate incident resulted in significant damage to Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and led to substantial delays in the day’s track action. Crews worked tirelessly to secure the loose valve cover and address similar issues at 30 other locations along the Strip, ensuring the safety of both the cars and the fans.
As a consequence of these unforeseen circumstances, an extended delay of 2.5 hours affected the FP2 session. During this time, fans were asked to leave the venue as security shifts came to an end. Those who held tickets only for Thursday’s action were offered $200 vouchers to spend in the event’s online merchandise store as compensation for witnessing just eight minutes of live track action.
The aftermath of these disruptions saw a prominent Nevada law firm launching legal action against the Las Vegas Grand Prix organization in a bid to secure refunds for affected spectators.
The F1 organization, which owns the Las Vegas Grand Prix event promoter, has been approached for comment regarding the incidents involving the torn-down screens, leaving fans and F1 enthusiasts eagerly awaiting further developments in this unfolding saga.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 Controversy
Q: What were the view-blocking screens at the Las Vegas Grand Prix?
A: The view-blocking screens at the Las Vegas Grand Prix were filters installed on pedestrian bridges over the Strip. These screens were designed to prevent people without tickets from seeing the F1 track.
Q: Why did fans attempt to tear down the view-blocking screens?
A: Fans, suspected to be without tickets, tore down the screens to gain a view of the F1 track on the Strip. They were determined to get a closer look at the action.
Q: What additional safety measures were taken during the Las Vegas Grand Prix?
A: To enhance safety, shops along the Strip were temporarily banned from selling glass items during specific times surrounding the F1 sessions. Additionally, view-blocking screens were added to perimeter fences along the track’s edge.
Q: Were there any safety concerns regarding fan behavior during the event?
A: Surprisingly, no safety concerns regarding fan behavior were reported in race control during the Las Vegas Grand Prix, despite the disruptions caused by fans tearing down the screens.
Q: What other incidents marred the Las Vegas Grand Prix?
A: The event faced challenges from the outset, with an FP1 mishap involving a concrete failure around a water valve cover on the Strip, causing significant delays. Fans who held tickets only for Thursday’s action were offered compensation due to the extended delay in the FP2 session.
Q: Is there any legal action related to the Las Vegas Grand Prix?
A: Yes, a prominent Nevada law firm has launched legal action against the Las Vegas Grand Prix organization to secure refunds for spectators impacted by the disruptions during the event.
Q: What is the status of the F1 organization’s response to the incidents?
A: The F1 organization, which owns the Las Vegas Grand Prix event promoter, has been approached for comment regarding the incidents involving the torn-down screens. Further developments in this ongoing situation are awaited.