George Russell was fastest in FP3 of F1 Las Vegas GP ahead of Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant amid red flag end.
It was almost a smooth running in FP3 of F1 Las Vegas GP but for the yellow flags for off moments much like how it was in FP2. The list this time had Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ Logan Sargeant to begin with.
The latter half of the session saw Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, Mercedes’ George Russell, AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Williams’ Alexander Albon. The Thai racer eventually caused a red flag end to FP3 with about five minutes left.
Albon touched the wall at Turn 5 as his left-rear wheel came off eventually. It saw Russell to take top spot in FP3 with a 1m34.093s lap in F1 Las Vegas GP ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and the other Williams of Sargeant in the Top 3.
The Red Bull pair of Verstappen and Sergio Perez slotted in fourth and fifth, as Albon was sixth from Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Bottas and Magnussen in the Top 10, with McLaren’s Lando Norris just outside in 11th.
The Brit had a moment on his fast lap, as the Dane had some on and off fight against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc earlier in the session. Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg was 12th from Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Guanyu in the Top 15.
The Ferrari pair of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz slotted in 16th and 17th after they were unable to set a fast lap on the soft compound due to red flag. AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda was only 18th from Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Ricciardo in the Top 20.
Joint statement from Renee Wilm and Stefano Domenicali for Friday happenings where 1-day ticket holders were handed a $200 voucher by Las Vegas GP organisers (nothing for 3-day ticket holders) –
“Our top priority at Formula 1 is the safety and security of our drivers, employees, and fans. Responsibility for the oversight of a Formula 1 event falls with Formula 1 as the commercial rights holder of the sport, the FIA as the regulatory body, and the local promoter, in this case the Las Vegas Grand Prix. This is important for those who are new to racing to understand.
“Last night, approximately nine minutes into the first Free Practice session, a water valve cover broke on the straight on Las Vegas Boulevard. At that time the FIA, which is responsible for the safe running of the activities on the circuit, stopped the session so that we could look at the broken water valve cover and inspect the track. This has happened on occasion at other tracks at other races around the world.
“The precautionary step of removing all of the water valve covers on the entire track and filling them with sand and asphalt was undertaken. The entire process, from determination of the issue to remediation, took approximately five hours. The decision to remediate in this way was taken out of an abundance of caution and because the safety of drivers, trackside marshals and officials and our fans is always our highest priority. We thank the contractors who worked expeditiously to resolve the situation so quickly.
“As a result, the first Free Practice ended early. We moved ahead with the second Free Practice session at approximately 2:30 AM PT for 90 minutes. The decision to run the second Free Practice session at 2:30 AM PT was supported by all parties to ensure the sporting integrity of the remainder of the event. We would like to thank the drivers, mechanics and all the teams for their patience and commitment last night to ensure that we could run the session successfully.
“Now, let us turn to the fan experience. The delay in the start of the second Free Practice session from midnight to 2:30 AM PT created risks for our employees and our fans. We made the decision to close the fan areas that are under LVGP’s purview at 1:30 AM PT and send fans home. Let us explain why.
“First, we were concerned about our public safety and security officials who had been in service for a long time and who are being asked to work for the next three nights. We thank Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Department of Public Works and other public safety officials for their incredible support during the event and also as we re-opened the track early this morning.
“Second, we were concerned about our transportation employees who are responsible for driving our fans back to hotels. By Federal law, they were bumping up against the amount of time they can legally and safely drive buses. Finally, our hospitality staff needed the ability to clean and resupply our guest areas to ensure that the fan experience is optimal for everyone over the coming days. We know this was disappointing. We hope our fans will understand based on this explanation that we had to balance many interests, including the safety and security of all participants and the fan experience over the whole race weekend.
“We have all been to events, like concerts, games and even other Formula 1 races, that have been cancelled because of factors like weather or technical issues. It happens, and we hope people will understand. So how will we address this tonight?
“We have worked overnight to adjust our staffing plans across security, transportation and hospitality to ensure that we can function and serve fans with the best possible experience in the event of an extended race schedule. We are excited about the racing today and thank our entire team and our fans for their support. We know this is going to be a great event. With that let’s get back to racing.”
Here’s what was said after Friday of F1 Las Vegas GP
Here’s F1 team bosses on Las Vegas GP situation