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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Las Vegas Grand Prix should refund time and money for the recent failure of the long-awaited Free Practice 1

A screenshot of one of the moments in the “Race Highlights | 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix” video posted on Formula 1 Youtube.

Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP) should refund tickets for Free Practice 1 (FP1) on Nov. 16 after its cancellation just 15 minutes into the race because of an improperly filled pothole.

Every race weekend consists of three practices, known as “Free Practices”, which are spread out over two days to allow the teams to test out their cars on the track that they are racing on before the actual Grand Prix happens.

During the weekend of Nov. 15 to Nov. 18, a Grand Prix was held in Vegas for the first time in over 40 years with a brand new track that had a breathtakingly long straight down the Las Vegas Strip. This Grand Prix was sure to bring in quite the crowd of Formula 1 fans from all around.

This Grand Prix hyped up the whole year leading up to lights out when the race started, which is why fans watching in-person and from their screens were really anticipating this race.

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As someone who has been a fan of Formula 1 for years, I could not wait for this Grand Prix to commence. Even though I can’t afford an in-person ticket, I was ecstatic to watch this from my laptop.

But something unexpected happened.

One of Scuderia Ferrari’s drivers, Carlos Sainz, was doing a practice lap around the track when he came flying around the corner with a loud bang, sparks flying out from under his car. He ended up with damages to the floorboards of his Ferrari. The International Automobile federation along with the Las Vegas Grand Prix then ruled that the race is unsafe to continue under these conditions.

The following race, Free Practice 2, was delayed by five and a half hours.
I was shocked when just 15 minutes into the first practice, the race was red flagged and canceled.

Imagine how in-person audiences felt about this. Fans sat around for hours in the desert cold without any information as to what was happening next.

Fans who had a single-day ticket to FP1 were told by the LVGP that they could get a $200 merchandise voucher for the inconvenience, while fans who had purchased a three-day ticket got nothing but a brief apology.
It’s unfair to see any fans lose their money over a problem that they could not have controlled or predicted.
This half-hearted apology is pathetic, considering the LVGP has the money to compensate.
After a long wait of around two hours, fans in the grandstands were instructed to leave due to what the LVGP said was a “necessary precaution.”
As a fellow fan, even though the situation does not affect me directly, I was highly upset to have to watch others leave with such little explanation, as some of them only bought a ticket for FP1, meaning they wouldn’t be able to watch any other parts of the race weekend live.

LVGP has made a decent amount of money thanks to the crazy show they’ve put on with strategically placing their track in the center of Las Vegas, which cost $500 million, according to AP News.

Audiences are not the only ones who are disappointed by this situation.

One of the best drivers, Max Verstappen from Oracle Red Bull Racing team, told Reuters in an interview that he is not too fond of the Vegas track.

“I think it is (the LVGP race) 99% show, 1% sport,” Verstappen said. “They (Formula One) still make money if I like it or not, so it is not up to me…Some people like a show, I don’t like it at all”

According to the LVGP website, the cheapest ticket offered was $500, with the most expensive being upwards of $15,000.

Inexcusable, the audience should get the apology they deserved with the price they paid.

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About the Contributor
Niy Graves
Niy Graves, Staff Reporter
Hi! My name is Niy Graves, and I am in my third year here at De Anza. Some of my passions include F1, reading, and hanging out with my close friends. I am hoping to improve both my interviewing and photography skills this quarter.

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