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D'Arcy Waldegrave: Las Vegas F1 is in shambles

D'Arcy Waldegrave,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Nov 2023, 11:33AM
Photo / AP
Photo / AP

D'Arcy Waldegrave: Las Vegas F1 is in shambles

D'Arcy Waldegrave,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Nov 2023, 11:33AM

Utter chaos. 

It’s said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. 

If that really is the case, Formula 1 won't be overly concerned with the shambles that has set the Las Vegas Grand Prix rolling. 

The sporting world is focused on what has been described by the likes of Red Bull, Boss Christian Horner, and McLaren Principal Zach Brown as the, among other questionable superlatives, as the biggest sporting event in the world this year. 

Delightful self-congratulatory chutzpah of the highest order in a year within which the Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, and the women's football World Cup have been staged. 

It's not a claim, it's just a lie. Fabrication of the highest order, shameless BS. 

But we know Formula 1 goes large. 

We know that the Americans are prone to wild embellishment, and we know that Las Vegas represents the very essence of shameless self-promotion. 

But really this is next level peacocking. 

F1 have reportedly sunk well over half a billion US dollars into the event, which includes significant real estate acquisition in the heart of Sin City.  

Crazy money and a crazy sport for a weekend's action, then... this.  

After nine minutes, the first free practice, a water valve cover is dislodged by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and the whole circus grinds to a rather embarrassing halt. 

Esteban Ocon also suffered damage as a result of the track malfunction. 

Sainz’s Ferrari not only suffered catastrophic damage to its engine, chassis and battery, they were then slammed with a team players penalty for replacing the battery. 

This is comical!  

Practice one was then cancelled, practice two delayed by several hours due to logistical issues. 

The crowd was sent home at 1:30 a.m.  

The session eventually finished at four in the morning. 

Then when a member of the media who assembled for a hastily thrown together press conference featuring four team principals actually suggested that the whole messy affair was a black eye for the sport, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff lost his rag and swore at him!  

Hardly ideal in the puritanical US of A.  

But no publicity is bad publicity, right? 

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