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Formula 1 Las Vegas GP

2023 F1 Las Vegas GP results: Leclerc fastest in practice

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was quickest in a disrupted Las Vegas Grand Prix practice ahead of the penultimate round of the 2023 Formula 1 world championship.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Leclerc set the early pace in Free Practice 1, which was curtailed after only eight minutes due to a water valve cover working loose and smashing the bottom of team-mate Carlos Sainz’s car.

He also paced FP2 with a fastest time of 1m35.265s, after a lengthy delay while repairs were conducted to the track.

Las Vegas GP FP1 results: Leclerc fastest from Hulkenberg

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay   Laps   km/h 
16  Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'40.909   4 221.225
27  Nico Hulkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1'43.446 2.537 4 215.799
20  Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1'44.261 3.352 4 214.112
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'44.397 3.488 4 213.833
31  Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1'45.365 4.456 5 211.869
63  George Russell Mercedes 1'45.497 4.588 4 211.604
55  Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'45.824 4.915 4 210.950
22  Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'45.908 4.999 5 210.782
11  Sergio Perez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'46.793 5.884 4 209.036
10  77  Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'47.147 6.238 5 208.345
11  10  Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1'48.253 7.344 5 206.216
12  44  Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'48.513 7.604 4 205.722
13  Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'48.650 7.741 4 205.463
14  24  Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'48.822 7.913 5 205.138
15  Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1'48.947 8.038 3 204.903
16  18  Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes -   2  
17  81  Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes -   2  
18  23  Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes -   2  
19  14  Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes -   2

What happened in Las Vegas GP Free Practice 1?

The hugely anticipated first running on the new 3.9-mile street track didn’t last long. The water valve cover issue that sidelined Sainz’s car brought the session to an early end after just eight minutes.

Sainz's Ferrari crawled to a halt between the Bellagio and Paris hotels on the Strip, his onboard camera showing that his car had been rendered immobile by an impact from something on the track.

Marshals load the damaged car of Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, onto a truck

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Marshals load the damaged car of Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, onto a truck

The Ferrari’s chassis, floor and battery were damaged in the impact, as the concrete frame of the water valve cover was ripped up by the force of F1 cars running over it at high speed. The Alpine of Esteban Ocon was also damaged, as it was his car that flicked up the cover.

Valtteri Bottas had set the first timed lap of the track, with a 1m50.227s, but the benchmark swiftly fell with Leclerc working down to 1m40.909s before the red flag.

The Haas duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen were next up, ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ocon.

Las Vegas GP FP2 results: Leclerc fastest from Sainz

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay   Laps 
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'35.265   39
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'35.782 0.517 39
14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'35.793 0.528 38
11 Sergio Perez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'36.085 0.820 36
77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'36.129 0.864 36
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'36.183 0.918 37
27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1'36.489 1.224 33
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'36.496 1.231 41
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'36.663 1.398 42
10  23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1'36.688 1.423 42
11  4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1'36.864 1.599 33
12  63 George Russell Mercedes 1'36.890 1.625 37
13  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1'36.917 1.652 37
14  81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1'36.987 1.722 35
15  10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1'37.134 1.869 33
16  31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1'37.241 1.976 37
17  22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'37.412 2.147 41
18  24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'37.656 2.391 36
19  3 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'37.680 2.415 40
20  2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1'38.140 2.875 42

What happened in Las Vegas GP Free Practice 2?

After a lengthy delay to inspect and remedy about 30 covers around the track, by filling them with track surface materials, FP2 was started at 2:30am local time and was extended to 90 minutes.

Magnussen and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez were early visitors to the Turn 12 run-off after locking up.

Sainz showed no ill effects by immediately going to the top of the times with 1m39.891s, a tenth faster than Leclerc – both running soft tyres from the start.

Verstappen then set the pace at 1m38.625s on mediums, before Sainz grabbed P1 back with 1m38.537s and Leclerc retook it with 1m38.325s. Verstappen lowered the bar to 1m38.209s, to set the fastest time on mediums.

Perez briefly took the top spot at 1m37.807s, before Sainz snatched it with 1m36.984s and Leclerc took P2, 0.245s slower. Verstappen locked up on his soft run, going down the Turn 12 escape road. On his next lap, he got to within 0.148s of Sainz for P2.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sainz then improved to 1m36.742s, before Leclerc topped that by 0.082s with 1m36.660s. Verstappen could only manage 1m36.960s for third, before Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) jumped up to second, just 0.003s off Leclerc’s pace. Alex Albon rose to third for Williams, 0.028s slower, before overshooting Turn 12.

Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) rocketed to the top of the times with a time of 1m36.657s, set with 40 minutes remaining. Sainz beat that on a new set of softs, with 1m36.354s, but Verstappen bested him with 1m36.307s.

Leclerc reset the bar to 1m35.696s and then 1m35.265s. Sainz took P2, albeit half a second down, while Alonso bounced back to third before visiting an escape road. Perez was fourth from Bottas, Verstappen and Hulkenberg.

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