- First practice in Las Vegas ended after eight minutes on a shambolic night for F1
- A loose drain cover ripped into Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and fans had to leave
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Formula One on behalf of 35,000 fans who were told to leave Las Vegas practice on Thursday night in between sessions.
Fans, who had paid $200 for tickets, saw just nine minutes of racing because of the chaos that saw the first session wiped out and the second delayed.
A loose drain cover ripped into Carlos Sainz‘s Ferrari car and forced the first practice session to be abandoned.
The second session was then delayed as organizers rushed to inspect every drain on the city’s $500million city circuit.
It was between this time that fans were told to leave as F1 chiefs evacuated the area around the track.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Formula One on behalf of 35,000 fans who were told to leave the canceled Las Vegas practice on Thursday night
The first practice session was scrapped after just eight minutes when a loose drain cover caused significant damage to two vehicles
When second practice got underway at 2:30am local time, it took place in front of empty stands.
A statement at the time read: ‘Due to logistical considerations for our fans and our staff, we have made the determination that we will be closing all Las Vegas Grand Prix fan areas at 1:30am PT.
Now Dimopoulos Law Firm and co-counsel JK Legal & Consulting have filed a class action lawsuit against the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix in Nevada state court.
They say they are acting on behalf of ‘35,000 people who purchased tickets to Thursday’s practice run that was canceled after only nine minutes without refunds.’
The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, negligence, and deceptive trade practices against the defendants.
‘We will vindicate the rights of the fans that traveled great distances and paid small fortunes to attend, but were deprived of the experience,’ said Dimopoulos Law Firm owner and lead attorney, Steve Dimopoulos.
The lawsuit’s defendants are Liberty Media Corporation DBA Formula One Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix and TAB Contractors, Inc.
The Associate Press reported that Las Vegas Grand Prix officials took steps to mend relations with angry fans by offering those with single-event tickets a $200 discount at the official gift shop.
Fans who had paid up to $200 to be at the practice session were quick to brand it ‘ridiculous’
Spectators were told to leave the second session after a mere eight minutes and five laps
However, the offer doesn’t apply to the majority of fans who purchased three-day passes
British TV channel Sky Sports News captured the mood of spectators who had been left short-changed.
One said: ‘Ridiculous! We waited for four hours and they gave us hope. At 2am they said “we are going to have the race”. And then nothing, nothing happened. Now they are telling us to leave, so what a night.’
Another fumed: ‘We came from Los Angeles, we flew only for today. We spent money on the airplane, tickets for this place and… nothing.’
A third said: ‘I’ve been here for the last 2-3 hours and now we’ve been asked to leave. We weren’t sure if practice was going to go ahead but fans were asked to leave. It was all kind of disappointing.’
A fourth also shed light on the mixed signals from race officials: ‘That was the big difference, the optimism, the hope that it would continue.
‘We caught 10 minutes at the beginning then we sat and waited. We hung out, food was good, drinks were good, but we sat and nothing happened.’
While another simply conceded: ‘That’s Vegas baby! We wanted to stay until 3am to watch the practice but it is what it is.’
Formula One declined to comment at this time when contacted by DailyMail.com.