Las Vegas Grand Prix’s worst nightmare realised as F1 lawsuit launched

A lawsuit has been launched against the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The F1 event has been a trainwreck right from the word go with locals, drivers, travelling spectators and TV viewers all furious about the unmitigated disaster.

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On a weekend that has been tainted by several incidents — including the damage to Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari in the opening practice session, which was abandoned — event organisers’ worst fears were realised on Sunday when news of the bombshell lawsuit emerged.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dimopoulos Law Firm has partnered with another firm to file a lawsuit in Nevada District Court on behalf of the 35,000 fans that attended the opening day mayhem.

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The first practice session was cancelled after just eight minutes when Sainz went over a faulty manhole cover — with the second session of the day delayed until 2.30am local time.

Fans had camped out for five hours, only to be ordered to leave the venue at 1.30am.

The cherry on top were reports from spectators that claimed they were threatened with trespassing charges by police as they were being forced to leave.

The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, negligence and deceptive trade practices.

The lawsuit has been taken out against Formula 1’s ownership group Liberty Media Corporation — as well as the Las Vegas Grand Prix and TAB Contractors Incorporated.

“We will vindicate the rights of the fans that travelled great distances and paid small fortunes to attend, but were deprived of the experience,” Dimopoulos Law Firm owner and lead lawyer Steve Dimopoulos said in a statement.

The bombshell comes after Formula 1 enraged fans by announcing those that attended the opening day on a single-day ticket pass will be offered a $200 merchandise voucher as compensation.

“Following last night’s incident involving a water valve cover, the Las Vegas Grand Prix, F1 and the FIA were faced with the difficult decision to close the fan zones prior to the beginning of Free Practice 2,” Las Vegas Grand Prix officials said in a statement.

“We appreciate your patience while we remedied the situation. This was not a decision we took lightly. As a thank you for your support, we would like to offer you a $200 voucher to the Las Vegas Grand Prix Official Shop.

“With a full round of practice successfully completed, we look forward to providing a safe and entertaining race weekend for all.”

The decision to send fans home was made out of concern for public safety and security officials, who had been on duty for a long time, the event claims.

It was the third statement released by the event since the opening session chaos — and none of them included the word “sorry”.

The BBC’s Andrew Benson posted on Twitter the Grand Prix had deliberately avoided using the term in its statements out of concern it could be seen as an admission of guilt in any potential future law suits.

It comes as world champion Max Verstappen made extraordinary comments about how the event has unfolded.

Verstappen noted after the qualifying session on Saturday that even with the $200 voucher, the event was still making money.

“If I was a fan, I would tear down the whole place,” he said.

“This can’t be right. Listen, if you look at those manhole covers and how that’s put together, you just have to know that it would naturally come up when an F1 car drives over it. You really don’t have to have a high IQ to know that.”

While the statement released ignored any form of an apology, Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo offered one up to fans who were kicked out of the stands.

The AlphaTauri driver had already gone public with his concerns about the ticket prices at the event.

“Obviously, now that we’ve done a session, it feels more worth it. But at 1:30am (it) didn’t feel worth it. Everyone was like let’s just do this tomorrow,” he said, according to

“I obviously don’t know the ins and outs with track availability and obviously it’s not a conventional circuit, so it’s not like we can just rock up here in the morning. I’m sure there are some limitations that we are a little bit at the mercy of.

“The grandstand situation, obviously that’s a bummer. But I guess if we didn’t do FP2, then it probably would have gotten scrapped, and we just would have gone into FP3.

“So, at least like this, maybe the fans got to the very least watch it on TV. We try to be positive. But yeah, it’s obviously a difficult situation.

“But I also don’t want to s**t on the sport. It’s the first time here, it’s a massive project and things unfortunately happened, but I guess they did the best they could with what they had.”

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