Las Vegas GP hit with lawsuit after practice cancelled

Dutch driver and Formula One champion Max Verstappen was one of the many drivers to criticize the Las Vegas event.
Photo: ANDREA DIODATO

The troubled Formula One Grand Prix of Las Vegas has been hit with a class action lawsuit on behalf of the 35,000 people who bought tickets for Thursday’s practice session that was canceled when a loose drain cover damaged Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.

The much-anticipated first action on the neon-lit circuit, which includes a section along the famous Las Vegas Strip, lasted just over eight minutes before coming to a halt.

A five-and-a-half-hour break followed and crews removed all 30 covers along the 3.8-mile layout and filled the holes with sand and asphalt.

The second 90-minute practice session began in front of empty stands at 2:30 a.m. Friday morning, long after the fans had cleared out in a move officials said was a necessary safety precaution.

Las Vegas Grand Prix officials attempted damage control, offering $200 merchandise vouchers to one-day ticket holders.

The compensation did not apply to those who purchased three-day passes.

Law firm Dimopoulos and co-counsel JK Legal & Consulting said they filed a class action lawsuit against the Las Vegas Formula One Grand Prix (LVGP) in Nevada state court on Friday on behalf of those who bought tickets to the practice run.

The lawsuit named Formula One owners and race promoters Liberty Media Corporation, DBA Formula One Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix and TAB Contractors Inc as defendants.

“There are some issues with that (compensation),” Steve Dimopoulos told Reuters in a telephone interview on Saturday.

“That (a $200 merchandise voucher) is obviously not an adequate refund.

“A lot of fans probably don’t even want that, they want their money back.

“There are also peripheral questions about what about the people who came in from home and paid for substantial airfare and hotels.”

The decision to send fans home was made out of concern for public safety and long-serving security officers, LVGP CEO Renee Wilm and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said in a joint statement.

Qualifying took place on Friday and was completed without incident.

Formula One did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

-REUTERS

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