Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

FIA plans special rules for street circuits to prevent inspection delays

Formula 1

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The FIA plans to introduce new rules for street circuits to ensure they are inspected properly before holding grands prix.

Its Circuit Commission told the World Motor Sport Council “there has been recent examples where non-permanent circuits have not been presented in a timely manner for final inspection.”

Track inspections are required to ensure the FIA’s safety standards are complied with. Arranging inspections can be particularly complicated at street circuits due to the need to close public areas to traffic.

The Las Vegas Strip Circuit, which held the Las Vegas Grand Prix for the first time last year, presented a particular challenge as it was only available for F1 to use for a few hours per day.

Soon after practice began, Carlos Sainz Jnr struck a loose water valve cover which caused significant damage to his car. Esteban Ocon also hit the same cover.

As a result the first practice session was abandoned and the second delayed, causing significant disruption to the event. The second practice session did not conclude until 4am the following morning.

In order to guard against similar situations in future, the WMSC has “approved a proposal to introduce a minimum time period of 24 hours between the final inspection and first competitive track activity to ensure the circuit is ready on time.”

“All non-permanent circuits must therefore be presented for a final inspection 48 hours prior to the proposed start date of first competitive track activity of the first international competition, and subsequently 24 hours prior to the first competitive track activity of any international competition, unless agreed otherwise by the FIA,” it continued.

“This final inspection will normally take place the day before the first competitive track activity and must be completed to the FIA’s satisfaction and all conditions and specific requirements set out in the relevant regulations must be complied with before the circuit licence can be issued.”

The WMSC’s proposal requires the approval of the F1 Commission to be put into practice.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “FIA plans special rules for street circuits to prevent inspection delays”

  1. This is sth they should’ve come up with somewhere in the 1980s.

  2. Track inspections are required to ensure the FIA’s safety standards are complied with.

    Apparently not, or this wouldn’t be a problem.

    Once again F1’s insatiable lust for money, and the FIA’s weak leadership, keeps letting this happen.

    Thankfully, they’ve been lucky there haven’t been serious incidents.

  3. I am surprised no one noticed that water valve cover in the years leading up to the race.

    1. IIRC it wasn’t the water valve cover that came loose, it was the flange in the ground it attached to that broke. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the cover had been welded to the flange.

  4. A no brainer, so they haven’t been doing this…WT?
    at very least the FIA should pay for any damage to cars due to these types of issues, it is not the teams responsibility to ensure the track is up to scratch.

  5. Soon after practice began, Carlos Sainz Jnr struck a loose water valve cover which caused significant damage to his car.

    Forgot to make reference that Ferrari probably lost the 2nd place in Constructors Championship and a couple millions dollars due to that. Imagine a title decided by a track loose water valve.

  6. Coventry Climax
    29th February 2024, 10:06

    Being able to conduct inspections well on time is pointless if the quality of those inspections themselves are insufficient.

    This sounds like an effort to put the blame on someone else. That, in the case of Vegas, is quite silly, as the whole shebang of groups involved in the matter, are all the same.

  7. The timing of the inspection would not have been an issue had it passed the first time – which Las Vegas did not. It is hard to credit the re-test (which should not have been possible on such short notice in any case) having correctly inspected the drains, either.

    The timing issue appears to have rather missed the mark. The problem with the inspection was definitely not about its needing to happen 12 hours closer to the time the cars went on track!

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