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Six Things You May Have Missed from Thursday in Vegas

An eagerly anticipated first day of track action in Las Vegas did not go as planned for the Formula One grid, but there was still lots going on in and around the famous Strip.

Yesterday Raining, Today Graining

If Wednesday was all about the rain, Thursday was all about the grain. Graining occurs when the tyre slides across the surface and small ridges and tears form on the surface of the rubber. 

Many had predicted tyre issues owing to a new track surface and the cool ambient temperatures prior to the event. These factors, coupled with a circuit with long straights punctuated by slow corners meant many teams did indeed end up suffering in FP2. And we were not immune. It will likely be a feature of the rest of the weekend, too.

Penalty Rumours

Carlos Sainz’s highly unfortunate incident with a drain cover in FP1 left him having to take numerous new components including a new Power Unit. This also meant the Spaniard received a 10-place grid penalty for this weekend’s race. The regulations don’t allow for the Stewards to make any allowances for circumstances in applying the penalty in this case, and that was reflected in their official decision: „The Stewards note that if they had the authority to grant a derogation in what they consider in this case to be mitigating, unusual and unfortunate circumstances, they would have done so, however the regulations do not allow such action.“

There was some speculation that teams may have appealed to the Stewards not to show any leniency ahead of any decision. We can confirm this was just pure speculation! As you can see above, the Stewards decision was predetermined by the regulations which had to be applied as such. 

‘Win City’ Winners Visit

We were delighted to welcome our four lucky ‘Win City’ competition winners into the team for the first time. Mark and Emma, and David and Josh enjoyed a day checking out the F1 paddock, the pit lane, and our Vegas Club hospitality suite.

Want your chance to win cool prizes and competitions like Win City? Sign up to our team updates to find out more. 

SpongeBob Sphere

The Sphere is already an iconic part of the Las Vegas skyline and will form an eye-catching part of the background to this weekend’s race. We got to see our first glimpses of the cars on track with the Sphere as a background, and the results did *NOT* disappoint. Anyone for SpongeBob? 

Team Spirit

It is an obvious statement, but Thursday was a challenging day for all the team trackside and in the Race Support Room at home in Brackley. A session starting at 0230 local time is unprecedented, but everyone got stuck in as always with good humour and teamwork. There was no shortage of coffee consumed either! 

Animated Press Conference

Toto was in the Team Principal’s Press Conference and after the drama of FP1, there was plenty to discuss. Despite a challenging start to his weekend, Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur was still able to have some fun with his old friend, asking Toto to answer questions about his team’s season. 

Toto also delivered an impassioned defence of the sport and the enormous efforts involved in bringing a race to Las Vegas. "It's FP1, give credit to the people that have set up this Grand Prix. They have made this sport much bigger than it ever was. Nobody will be talking about this tomorrow morning,“ he said.

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