In a weekend filled with high-speed thrills and unexpected twists, the Las Vegas Grand Prix saw Formula 1 fans taking matters into their own hands, quite literally. The race had already garnered attention for its use of view-blocking screens on pedestrian bridges running over the Strip, causing frustration among spectators without tickets. However, as the controversy escalated, so did the fans’ determination to get a glimpse of the action.
Initially, view-blocking filters had been applied to certain areas of pedestrian bridges to restrict unauthorized access to the race track. Local residents attempted to remove these filters, prompting organizers to reinforce them with cage-like structures. These additions not only prevented access but also thwarted any attempts to throw objects onto the track.
Moreover, in a bid to maintain safety, shops along the Strip were temporarily prohibited from selling glass items during specific times coinciding with F1 sessions. This measure aimed to prevent dangerous items from making their way onto the track.
While such security measures are not uncommon at permanent tracks visited by F1, view-blocking screens were also set up along the track’s perimeter on the Strip’s pavement. These screens, however, did little to deter determined fans, as can be seen in the photos.
During the Las Vegas race, fans, some sporting team merchandise but believed to be without tickets, successfully tore through the view-blocking screens to catch a glimpse of the action on the Strip. Event staff made attempts to repair the screens but were unable to do so effectively.
The epicenter of the fan action was opposite the Planet Hollywood casino and hotel, strategically situated near Turn 14 – the main overtaking point on the track layout.
While breaches of security lines by spectators have been a concern at other F1 events this year, there were no safety concerns reported regarding fan behavior during the Las Vegas GP. This action took place away from the barriers lining the track’s edge, ensuring both fans and drivers remained out of harm’s way, unlike previous incidents in Melbourne and Sao Paulo.
The Las Vegas GP had already courted controversy earlier in the event when a concrete disaster during FP1 resulted in damage to Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari. Delays ensued as crews worked tirelessly to secure the affected areas along the Strip to prevent further incidents. As a result, the FP2 session faced a 2.5-hour delay, leading to the removal of fans from the venue as security shifts ended.
Fans who had tickets only for Thursday’s action were offered $200 vouchers to compensate for witnessing just eight minutes of live track action. The aftermath saw a prominent Nevada law firm launching legal action against the Las Vegas GP organization in an attempt to secure refunds for affected spectators.
The F1 organization, which owns the Las Vegas GP event promoter, has yet to comment on the incident involving the torn-down screens, adding another layer of intrigue to this eventful weekend in Sin City.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Las Vegas GP Controversy
What led to the controversy at the Las Vegas Grand Prix?
The controversy at the Las Vegas Grand Prix stemmed from the use of view-blocking screens on pedestrian bridges over the Strip, limiting access to spectators without tickets.
How did fans react to the view-blocking screens?
Some determined fans, believed to be without tickets, tore through the view-blocking screens to catch a glimpse of the race action.
Were there safety concerns regarding fan behavior during the event?
Race control reported no safety concerns regarding fan behavior, as the incidents took place away from the track’s edge, ensuring both fans and drivers remained safe.
What caused delays during the Las Vegas GP?
Delays were caused during the event due to a concrete disaster during FP1 that damaged Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, leading to extensive repairs along the Strip.
How did the organizers compensate fans who only witnessed limited track action?
Fans who had tickets only for Thursday’s action were offered $200 vouchers as compensation for witnessing just eight minutes of live track action.
Is there any ongoing legal action related to the Las Vegas GP?
Yes, a Nevada law firm has launched legal action against the Las Vegas GP organization in an attempt to secure refunds for spectators impacted by the event.
Who owns the Las Vegas GP event promoter?
The F1 organization owns the Las Vegas GP event promoter.