Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says fans who were not allowed to watch practice for the Las Vegas Grand Prix should receive some kind of compensation.
The second practice session went ahead two-and-a-half hours later than planned, at 2:30am in a morning. However F1 had to close the grandstands to spectators as the security staff it had hired were not able to work that late.
As a result the second practice session went ahead in front of empty stands. Wolff said the circumstances were unfortunate but unavoidable due to the checks needed to ensure the track was safe.
“Thursday was so difficult with the drain cover coming loose [and then] the driving from 2:30 to 4am also to see whether everything was fine for the following day.
“I think it was unforeseen circumstances. You can’t make people to work [at the] track that late. And I think for next year, maybe we can create some kind of buffer. But it was unforeseen circumstances.”
Fans did not learn they would not be allowed to watch the second practice session until around an hour before it began – well after its original scheduled starting time. Wolff said they deserve to receive some kind of compensation.
“Often communication can do a lot to make the situation better,” he said. “I hope for the people that ended up upset for the right reasons we can find a good package for next year so they can enjoy the race and in a way maybe we can pay them back for the unfortunate situation.”
Earlier in the weekend, speaking between the first two practice sessions, Wolff angrily dismissed suggestions F1 had been embarrassed by the disruption caused by the problem with the track. After the race Wolff described the event as a triumph.
“That was an awesome weekend,” he said. “The drain cover was nothing, like I said.
“When you look back at tonight on Sunday, spectacular race, great audiences, mega event. Some good racing at the front, that’s what I will remember [of the] inaugural Las Vegas race. Ticked all the boxes.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix
- Tost blames track inspection oversight for Sainz’s damage in Las Vegas
- Hard to repeat “rare” combination of factors behind Vegas shunt – Norris
- Las Vegas Grand Prix “got a lot more hate than it deserved” – Sargeant
- Williams’ “incredible” Vegas qualifying made us “poor” in race – Vowles
- Piastri is first rookie to take two fastest laps in a season since Hamilton