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Formula 1

Everything that happened in very delayed Las Vegas GP practice

by Josh Suttill
3 min read

Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two in a bizarrely late second Formula 1 practice session at the Las Vegas Grand Prix that took place with no fans present.

Key moments

  • Leclerc leads Sainz by half a second
  • Alonso third with Verstappen sixth
  • All fans ordered to leave circuit prior to FP2
  • No further visible problems with track surface

FP2 was delayed for two and a half hours as lengthy track repairs were undertaken after a nightmare start to the weekend in which FP1 was abandoned after just eight minutes.

Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon damaged their cars due to a "concrete frame around a manhole cover" failing, with the knock-on effects for the Ferrari resulting in an unfortunate grid penalty despite some reluctance from the Las Vegas stewards.

The resulting track repairs and lack of running in FP1 led to the FIA extending FP2 to a 90-minute session.

It took place two and a half hours later than initially planned with the session starting at 2.30am and ending at 4am local time - and it did so without fans.

Due to what the circuit promoter called "logistical considerations for our fans and staff", the grandstands and all fan areas were closed, with fans - who had waited all night for more track action than the eight minutes they got in FP1 - ordered to leave the circuit.

FP2 did take place without any visible problems with the track surface, much to the relief of all involved in the Las Vegas GP weekend.

There were plenty of mistakes though as drivers had their first proper taste of the Las Vegas Strip circuit, with multiple drivers testing out the run-off area at the tricky left-hand Turn 12.

Leclerc emerged on top of the leaderboard, topping FP2 with a 1m35.265s which was a whole 0.517s quicker than his team-mate Sainz.

Brazilian Grand Prix podium finisher Fernando Alonso found himself completing the top three once more for Aston Martin, just fractionally slower than Sainz.

Sergio Perez was fourth quickest in the second Red Bull ahead of low-grip specialist Valtteri Bottas, sporting Alfa Romeo's Vegas-only colour scheme.

Max Verstappen was 0.918s adrift of Leclerc in sixth place, evidently far from happy with the balance of his RB19 with a couple of off-track moments.

Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Haas in the older specification of car. Team-mate Kevin Magnussen - running the upgraded VF-23 - was 13th fastest, four tenths slower.

The top 10 was completed by Lance Stroll, Lewis Hamilton and Alex Albon.

Lando Norris was the highest-placed McLaren driver in 11th ahead of George Russell, Magnussen and team-mate Oscar Piastri.

Practice 2 Results

PosNameCarBest TimeGap Leader
1Charles LeclercFerrari1m35.265s
2Carlos SainzFerrari1m35.782s+0.517s
3Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1m35.793s+0.528s
4Sergio PérezRed Bull1m36.085s+0.820s
5Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m36.129s+0.864s
6Max VerstappenRed Bull1m36.183s+0.918s
7Nico HülkenbergHaas-Ferrari1m36.489s+1.224s
8Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m36.496s+1.231s
9Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m36.663s+1.398s
10Alex AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1m36.688s+1.423s
11Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m36.864s+1.599s
12George RussellMercedes1m36.890s+1.625s
13Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1m36.917s+1.652s
14Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1m36.987s+1.722s
15Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1m37.134s+1.869s
16Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m37.241s+1.976s
17Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m37.412s+2.147s
18Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m37.656s+2.391s
19Daniel RicciardoAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m37.680s+2.415s
20Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1m38.140s+2.875s
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