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Formula 1 Las Vegas GP

F1 drivers say oil on track created "unacceptable" conditions at Las Vegas GP start

Formula 1 drivers reckon a classic car dropping oil on the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix grid created 'unacceptable, shocking and unfair' conditions and want the FIA to take action.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, spins and makes contacct with Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43, as Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04, avoid the incident at the start

As is customary for every race, the 20 drivers are presented to the grandstands around the track by completing a parade lap. Often, classic cars are sourced and are driven around by their owners.

Approximately 90 minutes before the race start, the car carrying Oscar Piastri dropped oil on the grid on the side closest to the pitwall, leaving marshals to spread cement dust to soak up the slippery spillage.

Carlos Sainz, who started 12th owing to a 10-place grid penalty for changing the control electronics package aboard his Ferrari after his car was heavily damaged from hitting a water valve cover in FP1, reckoned the oil was responsible for him sliding into Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1 and spinning.

The Spaniard said the slippery surface was unacceptable. He commented: "I saw a lot of oil from the cars that we used to do the drivers' parade, which is another thing for the FIA to look at.

"It is not fair that all the oil was on the inside line. Apart from the dirty track already being there, we put cars on that are leaking oil on the track an hour before the race. Again, this is unacceptable.

"That probably cost us with the crashes into Turn 1."

Alpine racer Pierre Gasly, who finished 11th, five places behind Sainz, also reckoned it had created an unfair scenario for some cars. He said: "It wasn't nice, especially lining up on the best spot of the year for us [in fourth].

"I've discussed it already with FIA, and I'm sure we'll change a few things, because it doesn't feel really fair that some guys got to start on oil and some others have clear Tarmac. I'm sure they'll fix it."

Grand Prix Drivers' Association director George Russell, who started alongside Gasly in third, added: "It's not the first time we've seen these historical cars dropping oil.

"It was pretty shocking to see how bad it was. But they did a good job to clear it up for the race."

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43, collide at the start

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43, collide at the start

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